With the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal team having completed its tour in the State, the government on Monday consulted with floors leaders of both Houses of the legislature and decided to have wider consultations to evolve a concrete strategy to defend the State’s share of waters.

A 13-member tribunal team, headed by the former Supreme Court judge J.M. Panchal, toured the northern areas of the State from December 18 to 22. The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal adjudicates the water dispute among the States of Goa and Karnataka.

Karnataka has decided to construct the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project which envisages diversion of 7.56 tmcft of water to the Malaprabha dam by constructing dams across the Kalasa and the Banduri nalas and diversion canals to provide drinking water to towns and villages in Belgaum, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Gadag districts. The Goa government is opposed to the project.

Addressing presspersons after a meeting here, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said a decision has been taken to hold wide consultations with local people, farmers, legal and irrigation experts. Mr. Siddaramaiah said the State government would urge the Centre to provide environment clearance for the project. The State government has commenced canal works in non-forest areas of the State.

Urged

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly H.D. Kumaraswamy urged the government to obtain the environment clearance, while BJP Floor Leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar suggested filing an interim petition before the Supreme Court to safeguard the State’s interests.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Water Resources M.B. Patil and Minister for Information and Technology S.R. Patil attended the meeting.

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