Days after the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal asked Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra to resolve their differences amicably, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to the other two CMs, offering to host the first round of talks on the matter.
In his letter to Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Siddaramaiah sought their cooperation in holding talks.
“I sincerely hope you would, in the true spirit of co-operation and collaboration, agree to your state participating in the talks,” his letter to the Goa CM said.
In an interim order on July 27, the Mahadayi tribunal had rejected Karnataka government’s plea for access to 7.56 TMC of water through Kalasa Banduri project. The tribunal last week asked the three states to settle the dispute amicably through talks. The tribunal’s rejection of Karnataka’s interim plea had led to protests in north Karnataka last month.
Since 2002, Karnataka has been seeking to build a canal across two tributaries of the Mahadayi — Kalasa and Banduri — to divert 7.56 TMC of water to Malaprabha river for supply to the three parched north Karnataka districts of Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag.
Although the NDA government cleared the project in 2002, it was opposed by the then Goa government led by Manohar Parrikar. Goa approached the Centre with a request for a Mahadayi tribunal. The Goa government argues that the Kalasa Banduri project would cause ecological damage in the state.
The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up on November 16, 2010. The Karnataka government is of the view that the dispute can be resolved faster through mediation. The Karnataka Assembly had on March 30 passed a resolution to resolve the dispute through mediation.