Cross examination of A K Bajaj, a witness for the state of Karnataka in Mhadei river water dispute, was resumed on Monday before the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal.
As the Additional Solicitor General of India Atmaram N S Nadkarni was busy before the Supreme Court for a while in the morning session, the Advocate General conducted the cross examination in the morning session and Nadkarni conducted the cross examination in the afternoon session.
The witness was extensively cross examined on the aspect of selection of rain gauge stations, and what was the basis for him to rely upon the CWC 2003 report and the report of Prof A K Gosain.
The witness could not explain the basis for relying upon the report of CWC as well as the report of Prof A K Gosain, and merely stated that both these reports arrive at a similar yield figure and therefore he relied upon both these reports, and gave no any scientific or hydrological reasons for the same.
The witness was further asked to justify the correctness of the CWC report, which the witness could not do. At every stage, the witness gave contradictory answers.
At one stage, he stated that the runoff coefficient can be more than 1 because the rainfall which falls at places other than where rain gauge stations are stationed may not be recorded, to which the witness was asked whether there are insufficient rain gauge stations in Mhadei basin.
The witness gave a very evasive answer to the same. The witness was asked on what basis did he made a statement in his report that the length of the river is 117 kms, to which the witness simply answered that it is based on some departmental records but could not produce the same.
During the last hearing, the witness was asked to produce the scientific material/ literature to demonstrate that runoff more than rainfall is an acceptable phenomena.
The witness was further asked as to whether in his entire career he has come across any river basin where the runoff coefficient is more than 1 and he was asked as to what is the specialty of Mhadei basin for getting such higher runoff coefficient of more than 1, he clearly admitted that he has not come across any river basin where the runoff coefficient of more than 1 nor could he explain as to why only for Mhadei basin the runoff coefficient is more than 1.
The tribunal observed that witness was giving very evasive and general answers and not answering the questions posed. The cross examination of Bajaj by the state of Goa will continue tomorrow.