B.S. Ramesh

State firm on utilising its share of 7.5 tmcft of water

State has spent Rs. 38 crore on Mahadayi water diversion scheme

Another round of talks on the State’s stand on the issue

BANGALORE: Karnataka has decided to not only firm up its stand of utilising 7.5 tmcft of water from the Mayadayi for drinking water purposes to the twin cities of Hubli and Dharwad in north Karnataka, but has also tentatively decided to stake its demand for a larger share of the river water.

This was one of the proposals discussed threadbare at a high-level meeting held in Bangalore on Thursday under the chairmanship of Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai.

Expenditure

The meeting was told that the State had spent Rs. 38 crore on the Mahadayi water diversion scheme to supply drinking water to Hubli-Dharwad and several villages and small towns adjoining the twin cities.

The meeting was attended, among others, by top officials of the Irrigation, Power and Law Departments as also the Supreme Court advocate for the State on the Mahaydayi River, Mohan Katare and Advocate-General Ashok Harnahalli.

All-party meet

The meeting was called in the background of an all-party meeting called by the Government in Bangalore on December 30 to discuss the issue. The meeting decided to have another round of talks and take a final decision on the stand that the State should take on December 29. This would also be the stand of the State at the all-party meeting.

According to a top-ranking official who was part of the meeting, it was tentatively decided that the State should not back down from its stand on utilising its share of 7.5 tmcft of water for drinking water project.

The meeting was told that water for the drinking water project would come from the State’s share of 45 tmcft of water.

The Mahadayi, which is called Mandovi in Goa, has nearly 200 tmcft of water and a major share of the river water has gone to Goa.

The meeting also decided to put forth before the newly constituted Mahadayi River Water Disputes Tribunal, the need for increasing the share of Karnataka.

It noted with distress that while Goa had not at all objected to Maharashtra taking up a mini-hydel project on a tributary, it had objected to Karnataka taking up project for drinking water.

It also discussed on what stand that the State should take when the tribunal meets.

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