All you need to know about the Mahadayi dispute

Long wait: Farmers of north Karnataka have been agitating for nearly a year demanding Mahadayi water.  

The dispute over sharing of water from Mahadayi or Mandovi river that flows between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra has escalated in the recent months. The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal will be taking up the case for final hearing in February.

Here is all you need to know about the dispute.

Goa is opposing Karnataka’s move to divert water from tributaries of the river through the Kalasa-Bhanduri Nala project towards the parched Malaprabha river basin.While the demand for drawing water from the Mahadayi is four decades old, it was in 2002 that Karnataka drew up the Kalasa-Bhanduri project to supply drinking water to four parched districts of north Karnataka.

While Goa fears the project will cause deficit of water, Karnataka claims the river is water-surplus. Goa has also raised concerns over the potential ecological disaster that would be likely created if the tributaries are diverted.

The northern districts of Karnataka, Belagavi, Dharwad, Gadag and Bagalkot, are pressing for an out-of-court settlement with Goa and a speedy implementation of the project that could solve their drinking water crisis.

Mahadayi river
  • Total length: 80.8km
  • Origin: Bhimgad, Belagavi district
  • In Karnataka (Mahadayi): 28.8km
  • Goa (Mandovi): 52km
  • 19 tributaries, including Kalasa and Banduri

A timeline on the dispute:

1980-1989: Rebellion and an idea:

July 21, 1980: Violent protests, called Naragund rebellion, starts when state government takes ₹1,500 per acre after completion of Naviluteertha Reservoir

Farmers say they are taxed though water does not reach their fields; two killed in firing

1980: S.R. Bommai committee formed to look into water crisis, suggests linking of Mahadayi and Malaprabha river. Congress government falls in next assembly elections

1989: S.R. Bommai-led state government signs MoU with Goa to share waters; Karnataka to construct dam across Kalasa tributary, No progress after MoU

2002: Revival of the project

As a response to drought, S.M. Krishna-led government revives Kalasa-Banduri project

April: NDA government in the Centre clears project

July 2002: Goa opposes project and asks for constitution of Mahadayi Tribunal under Section 3 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956; Centre keeps project sanctions in abeyance

2006-2010: Parleys and legal recourse

April 2006: Union Water Resources Ministry convenes interstate meeting of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra for negotiations

September 2006: Talks fail, Goa approaches Supreme Court

December 2010: A year after the Centre’s approval, Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT) constituted

2014-now: legal dispute, political sparring

August 2015: All-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Centre’s response termed inadequate

December 2015: Karnataka files interim application asking for 7 TMC of water

July 27, 2016: Tribunal rejects Karnataka’s IA.

October 2016: Goa does not turn up for Mahayadi meeting organised by Maharashtra

December 2017: State BJP meets Goa CM Parrikar, who issues a letter saying Goa will not object. However, letter foments political storm in Karnataka and Goa.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 9:57:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-mahadayi-dispute/article22522644.ece

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