In a welcome birthday gift to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, the central government issued a notification on sharing waters of the inter-state Mahadayi river among Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The notification sought to implement the Mahadayi water disputes tribunal's August 2018 judgement which allocated 13.42 tmcft of water from the river to Karnataka. It comes after the Supreme Court directed the central government to issue the notification on February 21.
The tribunal was set up to resolve the dispute among the three states which has been going on for four decades.
This paves the way for Karnataka to implement the Kalasa Banduri project which will use water for irrigation purposes. The Goa government is against the construction of canals on the Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of the Malaprabha river, which is a major demand in Karnataka.
Of the 13.42 tmcft allocated, 5.5 tmcft is set aside for use within the river basin and for diversion to the Malaprabha reservoir while 7.9 tmc is for generating power. The notification allows water resource development projects to be taken up in the basin.
The Mahadayi river basin drains an area of 2032 sq km, out of which an area of 375 sq km lies in Karnataka, 77 sq km lies in Maharashtra and the rest in Goa.
Following the tribunal's decision in August 2018, the Goa and Maharashtra state governments approached the Supreme Court with a petition challenging the decision while Karnataka filed a petition seeking directions to the central government to issue notification.
A delegation of ministers from Karnataka including Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahalad Joshi, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi met Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shigh Shekhwat earlier this week to request the notification to be issued.