On Wednesday, Karnataka's petition explained the drought situation in the state with 136 taluks declared as drought hit, of which 20 are in the Mahadayi basin. Karnataka also argued that 108 tmc ft of water is available in the basin and Goa is utilising 9.395 tmc ft.
According to The New Indian Express, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his disappointment at the tribunal order on Mahadayi and to initiate moves for a negotiated settlement of the issue. “Let Modi mediate with Chief Ministers of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka to resolve the inter-state water dispute,” Siddaramaiah said.
Citing the National Water Policy, which provides first priority for drinking water projects in sharing of river waters, Siddaramaiah expressed his displeasure at the Prime Minister for not responding to Karnataka’s earlier pleas to mediate between the three states to resolve the issue.
He recalled the all-party delegation that he (CM) had led to Modi last year appealing for his mediation and said that Modi had not responded positively.
The Chief Minister also announced that he would convene an all-party meeting next week and also discuss the issue with legal experts to finalise the next course of action to protect Karnataka’s interests. He expressed confidence that opposition parties would continue the tradition of showing solidarity with the government in fighting for the interests of the state over the issues of water, territory and language.
Two weeks ago, the Goa cabinet had also resolved to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Ministers to take steps to stop degradation of Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary (MWS), restore the area and undo the harm done in the disputed Mahadayi river basin areas of Karnataka.
The Cabinet meeting also decided to request the Prime Minister to extend by another two years the tenure of the Mahadayi Inter-State Water Dispute tribunal, whose term expires in August this year.
Meanwhile, during the hearing at the tribunal in New Delhi on Friday, Goa opposed an intervention application(IA) filed by Karnataka saying it was not maintainable under Section 5(2) of the Inter State River Disputes Act. Goa said that Karnataka’s proposal to lift at three points is also neither feasible nor possible.
Goa also pointed out how 16 out of 18 bandaras had dried up in May 2016. Upto June 15, the two irrigation dams had not filled up at the reservoir level.