The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal which has been hearing the tussle over sharing of the Mahadayi or Mandovi river between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, delivered its final verdict on Tuesday. Ending a 50-year-old dispute, the tribunal allowed Karnataka access to 13.4 tmc of water for its consumptive use (5.4 tmc) and power generation (8.02 tmc).
The share of Goa was pegged at 24 tmc with the Tribunal allowing it for the state’s municipal water needs, irrigation water requirements and industrial water demands. Maharashtra got the lowest share of 1.33 tmc for meeting its in-basin needs with respect to five projects.
The Mahadayi river basin drains an area of 2032 square kilometres of which 375 square km lies in Karnataka, 77 sq km in Maharashtra and the remaining in Goa.
The tribunal also directed the Centre to set up the Mahadayi Water Management Authority to implement its report and final decision.
The dispute arose since Goa was opposed to Karnataka’s plans to divert waters from the tributaries of the river, which Karnataka justified was for drinking water purposes. The tribunal was constituted in November 2010.
Reacting to the tribunal’s ruling, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar said the final verdict has done justice to Goa. “I am happy that the Mhadei Tribunal with its final verdict has done justice to Goa. I thank the legal team and everyone who has fought relentlessly for protecting our lifeline Mhadei,” he tweeted.
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