Goa moves SC to restrain K'taka from Mhadei construction

Panaji, Feb 25 (IANS): The Goa government on Tuesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking interim relief to restrain Karnataka from carrying out construction or any other activity in its upcoming water diversion projects across the Mhadei river, a government spokesperson said.

The apex court is expected to take up the matter for hearing on March 2.

"Goa today filed an application for interim relief restraining Karnataka from carrying on any activity or construction over its project on Mhadei river. The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the matter for hearing on March 2," a spokesperson for the Goa Chief Minister's Office said on Tuesday.

Politics in Goa over the ongoing inter-state dispute has gained steam once again, after the apex court on February 20, allowed notification of the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal award given in 2018, on a request made by the Karnataka government.

Karnataka had claimed that the apex court's nod for notification of the award was a major victory towards its efforts to divert water from the Mhadei river through its controversial Kalasa-Banduri dam project.

The Goa government, as well as the state BJP on the other hand, has insisted that the nod is merely technical in nature and would not impact Goa's case against the southern state in the ongoing dispute.

Goa has opposed Karnataka's controversial Kalasa-Banduri project along the Mhadei river, claiming that diversion of water from the Mhadei basin through the canal would cause "ecological devastation" in the coastal state, where nearly half the population of 1.5 million depends on the Mhadei river water.

The Mhadei river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea near Panaji in Goa after briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

An inter-state water disputes tribunal, set up by the Central government after hearing the over two-decade-old Mhadei river water sharing dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, in August 2018 allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka and 1.33 TMC to Maharashtra.

The Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have challenged several provisions of the award.



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