Three factors that build up Goa’s hopes on Mhadei




The interlocutory application to be heard by the Supreme Court on March 2, the directions given by the Mahadayi (Mhadei) Water Disputes Tribunal under Clause X in its interim order dated April 17, 2014, and the solidarity expected among the government, Opposition parties and Goan people, are the three factors on which the state government is banking to find a solution to the Mhadei issue.

Highly-placed sources said the government, in its application to be heard by the apex court on March 2, has decided to pray for a stay on the implementation of the award, and inspection of the Kalasa-Banduri project in Karnataka by a joint inspection team headed by either the chief engineer of the Central Water Commission or assessor of the tribunal, besides direction that the Karnataka government should not take any kind of related permissions from the concerned authorities of the central government.

The highly-placed sources also informed that the April 2014 interim order of the MWDT still continues to be operative and its directions under Clause X ensure that the award by the tribunal cannot be implemented without acquiring various permissions.

The interim order and its directions will continue to be operative and will stand vacated and/ or revoked only after Karnataka

prepares a revised detailed project report for consumptive uses within the basin and/ or diversion of water outside the basin including the reservoir losses, etc, for not more than 1.72 tmcft at the proposed Kalasa dam site as permitted under Clause IX.

The other directions under Clause X state that the tribunal award cannot be implemented unless and until the revised DPR on the diversion scheme at the Kalasa dam site is appraised by the central agencies and is duly cleared, and all mandatory clearances such as forest clearance, Wildlife Board permission, Central Pollution Control Board permission, environment clearance for power and irrigation projects and so on are obtained as per the law.

In addition, the interim order and its directions will continue to be operative and will stand vacated and/ or revoked only after the Karnataka government is allowed to take up works as per the duly approved revised DPR either by the Mahadayi Water Management Authority or the Union government.

The state government also hopes that all the stakeholders in the Mhadei issue, including the Opposition parties in the state, should come together, just as the political parties and people in Karnataka are doing, in a display of solidarity.

The Centre had notified the tribunal award, earlier this week, fueling fears that Karnataka would expedite work on the Kalasa-Banduri project.

The highly-placed sources stated that the directions under Clause X, in the interim order of the MWDT are enough to restrict the Karnataka government from starting work on its irrigational projects.

“However, looking at the past actions of the Karnataka government, one has to be cautious about everything that state is doing,” they added, pointing out that the interlocutory application to be heard by the SC  on March 2 is to ensure that the Karnataka government does not carry out any mischievous things. 

The pending proceedings related to the Mhadei issue that is the appeals filed by Goa and Karnataka against the said award before the SC will be heard by the apex court on July 15, July 16 and July 22, 2020.