Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday stated that funds will be set aside in the upcoming budget for starting work on the Kalasa-Banduri project on the Mahadayi river.
"The Central government has issued a notification on the Mahadayi river. This will solve the drinking water issues of Hubballi and Dharwad. This is a long-pending demand and I would like to say that in the upcoming budget, we will set aside funds and expedite the work immediately," Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said in Bengaluru.
Yediyurappa's statement comes after the Central government notified the final award of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal on Thursday. The Mahadayi river flows through Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The notification comes after the Supreme Court directed the Central government on February 21. In the August 2018 judgement of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, Karnataka was allocated 13.42 tmcft of water, while Goa was allocated 24 tmcft and 1.33 tmc ft to Maharashtra.
"We are happy that upon the Supreme Court's directive, the gazette notification was issued. This is a huge step in the decades long agitation," activist Ashok Chandargi based in Belagavi told TNM.
The Kalasa-Banduri project aims to bring water to the drought-prone regions of Hubballi, Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag districts by diverting water from the Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha river in Karnataka.
However, any construction work on the Kalasa-Banduri project will be subject to the final verdict in the Supreme Court. This is after the Goa government moved the Supreme Court for interim relief, seeking to restrain neighboring Karnataka from carrying out any construction on the Mahadayi river.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the state government had filed for interim relief to restrain Karnataka from carrying out any activity or construction on the Kalasa-Banduri dam project until the hearing in the Supreme Court was completed.
The matter will be taken up in the Supreme Court on Monday. On the same day, Yediyurappa is slated to present the state budget for the ensuing fiscal in the Legislative Assembly.
Out of the 13.42 tmcft water, 5.5 tmcft will be used in the river basin and for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha reservoir while the balance 7.92 tmcft will be utilized for hydel power generation instead of allowing the water to go into the Arabian Sea on the state's west coast through Goa.