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Mahadayi river Dispute

What is the Mahadayi river Dispute all about?

  • The dispute over Mahadayi river Dispute has resurfaced over the past few weeks and tensions have been rife between Goa and Karnataka.
  • The dispute over Mahadayi river began in the 80s and grew stronger in the subsequent decades.
  • The trigger was Karnataka’s move to design a number of dams, canals and barrages to route the Mahadayi river water to the Malaprabha basin.
  • The state claimed that channelling the river water into the basin of Malaprabha, a tributary of the Krishna, would meet the
  • requirements of water-scarce districts of Bagalkot, Gadag, Dharwad and Belagavi.

What is the demand of GOA?

  • Goa, seeking redressal to the dispute in 2002, sought the constitution of a water disputes tribunal. The state also moved the apex court in 2006 with its demand.
  • After sustained efforts by the Goan government, the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up on November 16, 2010.
  • Goa contends that its population is dependent on the river’s natural path and any move to divert it would affect its fragile ecosystem.
  • It claimed that the ingress of saltwater in the river, which is dependent on monsoons, will ultimately end up killing the state’s mangroves and green belt, disturb the relationship between the people and the land, as well as the ecological balance.

Mahadayi river 

  • Mahadayi river rises in the Western Ghats, from the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Khanapur taluk of Karnataka’s Belagavi district.
  • Flowing westward, it enters Goa from Sattari taluk of North Goa districts. A number of streams join the flow of the river to form the Mandovi which is one of two major rivers that flow through Goa. It joins the Arabian Sea at Panaji.
  • The Mahadayi river, also spelt Mhadei or Mahadeyi, stretches 111-km.
  • Over two-thirds of the river’s stretch lies in Goa (76km). The Mandovi is important for Goa also because it is one of the few sweet-water sources at the state’s disposal. Most of Goa’s 11 rivers contain salt water and Mandovi ensures water security as well as being an important place to source fish for the state.

Here are the  things to know about the Mahadayi river water dispute:

1. The Mahadayi (called Mandovi in Goa) originates in Karnataka and flows to Goa and Maharashtra. The three states are locked in a protracted dispute over sharing its water for the last 30 years. Attempts at negotiations among the states were initiated by the central government way back in 1985.

2. The dispute reached a flashpoint in 2002 when the then Karnataka government led by chief minister S M Krishna decided to implement a long pending drinking water project by building a canal across two tributaries of the Mahadayi – Kalasa and Banduri.

a The project aimed to divert 7.56 TMC of water from the Mahadayi to the Malaprabha river in Karnataka to address the drinking water needs in three parched north Karnataka districts of Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag, according to The Indian Express. The NDA government at the Centre had then cleared the project but it was opposed by Manohar Parrikar government of Goa then. Parrikar, who is still leading Goa government, is still opposed to the project.

3. In 2002, Parrikar government had argued that the Kalasa Banduri project would result in a huge ecological imbalance in Goa as the river support the fragile ecosystem in Western Ghats regions of Goa. Following objections from Parrikar, the project stalled by the NDA government at the centre. Parrikar on Tuesday denied media reports that he would meet his Karnataka counterpart on January 5 in connection with the dispute.

Current Affairs 2020

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