In a partial relief to Karnataka, the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal has awarded the state permission to divert 5.5 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water to the Malaprabha basin during monsoon. This means that a total of 13.5 TMC of water has been allocated to Karnataka.
The news of the verdict led to protests by activists and farmers in Hubbali and other areas of north Karnataka.
Modagi, a farmer group leader from Belagavi, expressed happiness on the verdict.
"Our movement was to gain drinking water and irrigation water in these four districts. We are happy with the award of 5.5 TMC of water, but we will be continuing our movement to gain the other 2 TMC that we had demanded," he said.
The Tribunal has also permitted Karnataka to produce power at Mahadayi hydroelectric project by using 8.02 TMC.
Karnataka had initially demanded 7.56 TMC of water, including 4 TMC for Kalasa and 3.56 TMC for Bhanduri.
The Tribunal in July 2016 has rejected Karnatakaâ€™s demand, which had triggered protests across north Karnataka.
The Mahadayi water sharing dispute has been a festering issue between Goa and Karnataka. There have been protests by farmer groups and activists from both the sides, and strikes have been called over the issue for three decades.
The river water is important for drinking and agricultural purposes for north Karnataka region, as it does not get enough rains throughout the year.
The Mahadayi River, also called Mandovi in Goa, is essentially a rain-fed river that is shared between Karnataka and Goa for their water needs.
The river flows 35 km through Karnataka and then 52 km through Goa, before flowing into the Arabian Sea.
The Mahadayi catchment area includes some parts of Maharashtra as well. Goa constitutes a large part of the riverâ€™s catchment, which also includes runoff from Maharashtra, although the main stream of the river does not flow through that state.
The issue was referred to the Centre by Goa, which led to the formation of Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal in 2010 to assess the situation and grant allocation of water to the three states â€“ Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra