The Congress government in Karnataka has decided to oppose a move by the Goa government to seek extension of tenure for the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal beyond August 2018, as originally envisaged. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah following a meeting with floor leaders of the two houses of the legislature on Thursday.
“To address the problem of the lack of drinking water, the dispute needs to be resolved at the earliest. In this context the demand by the Goa government for extension of the tenure of the tribunal cannot be accepted,’’ Siddaramaiah said after the meeting. Read: What is the Mahadayi river dispute?
The tribunal, set up in November 2010, has a mandate to provide a report on the dispute in three years and its tenure can be extended only twice. The tenure has already been extended twice and further extension will need legal amendments to the laws on resolution of inter-state water disputes and lead to further delays in implementation of projects to provide drinking water in the state, the Karnataka government has stated.
The tribunal was scheduled to address the case between February 6 and 22 but the matter has been put off following the seeking of extension of its tenure by the Goa government.
“We do not agree to an extension of the term of the tribunal and we have communicated this to our advocates at the tribunal,’’ Siddaramaiah said. He said a request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting with an all-party delegation from Karnataka on the Mahadayi issue had not received any response yet.
The dispute over the sharing of water of the Mahadayi or Mandovi or Mhadei river between the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa is over 30 years old.