Maharashtra urged not to agree to Mahadayi water sharing

January 01, 2018 01:16 am | Updated 01:16 am IST - Belagavi

Marathi Yuva Manch, a youth organisation affiliated to the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, has urged the Maharashtra government not to agree to sharing Mahadayi waters between Goa and Karnataka till the Karnataka-Maharashtra border row is decided in the Supreme Court. This, they reason is because the river is born in Khanapur taluk, that is part of the region that MES wants to be merged with Maharashtra. In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the youth organisation leaders have said that the issue was not just related to Goa but Maharashtra too as the river flows through its border.

The place where Mahadayi takes birth, and most of the villages that it flows through, are in the disputed region that should merge with Maharashtra. The dispute is before the Supreme Court and till the final judgment on the issue is delivered, Maharashtra should not agree to any irrigation project in the riparian region, they said.

Therefore, they urged Mr. Fadnavis to intervene in the matter and not to allow the two States to share water.

They thanked him for acknowledging an earlier letter by them opposing the tripartite talks between Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra over river water sharing issues. If there have to be talks, they have to begin after the Supreme Court rules on the border issue, Narayan Kitawadkar and Suraj Kanabarkar said. They complained to Mr. Fadnavis that the initial works by the Karnataka government to create water channels between Mahadayi and Malaprabha had damaged a Mauli temple in the forest near the river’s birthplace.

However, Kannada organisations have dismissed this development as a meaningless attempt. Some groups want to be in the limelight by writing such letters, said Ashok Chandaragi, convenor of the Federation of Kannada Organisations in Belagavi. He recalled that Karnataka and Maharashtra have always been cooperating on the issue of drinking water. While Maharashtra releases water from Koyna river for drinking water in Karnataka villages, Karnataka releases drinking water to Maharashtra villages through the Upper Krishna Project.

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