The Karnataka government on Monday filed a fresh plea in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s decision limiting the allocation of water to 5.40 tmcft to the state and allowing surplus water to flow into the sea.
On August 14 this year, the tribunal granted 1.33 tmcft to Maharashtra and 33.395 tmcft to Goa and allowing the surplus 147.935 tmcft of water to be let into the sea. Karnataka, which has been demanding that the tribunal allocate the surplus water to the lower riparian state, has alleged that the tribunal’s ruling is a “grave miscarriage of justice to Karnataka”.
The state government also stated that the tribunal’s order was contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court in the Cauvery water dispute case, which mandated the equitable sharing of water among riparian states in a river water dispute.
The Karnataka government, in its special leave petition filed on Monday, contended that the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal had reduced the allocation for the state from 24.15 tmcft to 5.40 tmcft. The tribunal had also reduced Karnataka’s consumption of the Mahadayi water from 14.57 tmcft to 8.02 tmcft for purposes of power generation. The tribunal had rejected the state’s request to be granted an additional 7 tmcft out of the surplus water.
“188.06 tmcft at 75% dependability of water is available in the Mahadayi river basin and despite the very prayers of all the three riparian states for equitable allocation of waters for consumptive use, it has limited the allocation,” the state government’s petition states.
Karnataka has been involved in a long legal battle with Goa for its share of 36.5 tmcft of water from the Mahadayi river, including 7.56 tmcft for drinking water purpose in 13 taluks falling under four districts of the Bombay-Karnataka region. After the tribunal’s decision in August this year, Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar had termed the tribunal order an “injustice to the state” and had stated that the “state will appeal against it after consulting legal experts and leaders of all political parties”.
The tribunal, which was established in 2010, also directed the Centre to set up the Mahadayi Water Management Authority to implement its decisions. Goa had staunchly opposed Karnataka’s plan to divert water from the tributaries of the Mahadayi river saying it would create water shortage in the state. Karnataka had claimed that the diversion of water was crucial as it was required to meet the drinking water requirements of the northern region of the state.