The Goa government will file a contempt petition before the Supreme Court and the Mahadeyi Water Dispute Tribunal against Karnataka for allegedly resuming work on a canal at Kankumbi on a Mahadeyi tributary “in violation” of the apex court order.
Goa Water Resources Department Minister Vinod Palyekar said here today that the state would file the contempt petition in the first week of February. Last year, the apex court had ordered Karnataka to stop work on the construction of the canal at Kankumbi, which was aimed at diverting water from the Mahadeyi tributary.
Goa has claimed that they have photographic evidence to prove that the work has begun. “The ongoing case before the tribunal would be heard again in the first week of February during which we will file a contempt petition before it (tribunal). A similar petition will also be filed before the Supreme Court,” Palyekar said.
Goa Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma has written to his Karnataka counterpart over the “ongoing work” on the river tributary canal at Kankumbi, which he said was in “violation” of the Supreme Court order. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday told PTI that the chief secretary had written a letter to his Karnataka counterpart “pointing out to the violations of the SC directives by the resumption of the work on a canal at the Mahadayi tributary (at Kankumbi village)”.
Karnataka and Goa, the riparian states of the Mahadeyi river (known as Mandovi in Goa), are locked in a bitter battle over sharing of the river water, which originates in Belagavi in the southern state. “We have told Karnataka that they were violating the directives of the apex court on the issue and that they should not do that,” Parrikar had said. The apex court had stopped the construction of Karnataka’s canals and dams on the river.
In the recent years, the southern state has pegged its demand for Mahadeyi water at 7.56 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) to meet drinking requirements of farmers, mainly in North Karnataka. However, Goa has expressed apprehensions that Karnataka would stock more water in its reservoirs and channel it to the Malaprabha basin for irrigation purposes. “We will bring it to the notice of the (Supreme) Court that such a thing (work on the canal) is happening as it was a court order (which has been violated),” the chief minister added.
Palyekar had sent a team for inspection of the “fresh works” allegedly being carried out at Kankumbi by Karnataka last Friday. Yesterday, the minister himself visited the site along with the officials and upon his return to Panaji “confirmed” that Karnataka had “violated” the order of the apex court.