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Mhadei Water Tribunal gets into action

Meets for the first time after six years, since inception

Story: Arpita | Srivastava | 22nd September 2012, 10:51 Hrs

The Mhadei Water Tribunal has asked Karnataka government tofile a report over the Mhadei issue even as Goa has made a strong plea to stopconstruction of the diversion canal by Karnataka.

The Tribunal met for the first time recently where, in aninterim application, the state of Goa made a strong appeal seeking a directionto Karnataka to stop work on the dam.

The tribunal has agreed to take up Goa government’s interimapplication despite opposition from the Karnataka government.

While the Tribunal has directed Karnataka government to filea reply within one week, it has given Goa two weeks to file its reply.

The next hearing will take place on October 8.

The State government will stress for interim relief urgingKarnataka to stop diverting the river basin. What Karnataka was doing wasunheard of, as neither in Kaveri nor in Periyar dam issue had they diverted thecourse of river against the flow of nature.

Mhadei river has a length of 77 km, 29 km of which lies inKarnataka and 52 km in Goa. It originates from a cluster of 30 springs atBhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belgaum district of Karnataka.  2032 sq km of the river’s catchment area liesin Karnataka, while 1,580 sq km of catchment area lies in Goa.

Karnataka had started diverting the water from Mhadei riverin 2006. The Union Ministry of Water Resources notified the Mhadei WaterDispute Act 1956 and referred the matter to the tribunal after the Goagovernment approached the Supreme Court.

“We have been constantly opposing the diversion of Mhadeiriver water by Karnataka government. If water is diverted then it will havemassive impact on our State,” said Water Resources Minister, DayanandMandrekar.

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