Mahadayi Dispute: Karnataka to decide course of action on Aug 16

Mahadayi Dispute: Karnataka to decide course of action on Aug 16

Bengaluru, Aug 7, 2016 (PTI): The Karnataka government would decide its next course of action on Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa on August 16 after consulting legal experts on whether to approach the Supreme Court or again move the tribunal, which last week rejected its plea over a drinking water project.

The decision was taken at an all-party meeting convened here by the state government, Chief Minister Siddaramiah said.

“We will decide the next course of action on Mahadayi dispute on August 16 after holding consultations with our team of legal luminaries, including Fali Nariman. We will decide whether to seek clarification by moving the tribunal again or move the Supreme Court to get justice,” he told reporters.

Representatives of parties discussed the further course of action following the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s interim order rejecting the state’s petition seeking 7.56 tmcft for drinking water projects.

The government would take a call on the two legal options – to seek clarification under the provisions of section 53 of the Inter-State Water Dispute Act of 1956 or to move the Supreme Court by filing a Special Leave Petition challenging the interim order passed by the tribunal, Siddaramaiah said.

“These two options were discussed in the all-party meeting today which was attended by leaders including B S Yeddyurappa, Sadananda Gowda and K S Eshwarappa (BJP), H D Kumaraswamy (JDS) and others. All the parties have worked together on matters such as Mahadayi and Krishna disputes and I hope we all work as such in this matter also,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said all the party leaders had faith in Nariman and his legal team and continue to do so.

“All the parties and the governments in the past have worked on the suggestions made by Nariman and his team on Krishna and Cauvery disputes, and we would continue to do in this matter as well,” he said.

Congress and BJP MPs Mallikarjun Kharge and Ananthkumar were noted absentees at the meeting.
The Congress-led Karnataka government, which has locked horns with neighbouring Goa on the issue of sharing Mahadayi River water, had petitioned the tribunal seeking release of 7.56 tmcft for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.

The tribunal in its interim order last week had rejected the state’s plea citing various grounds, including ecological damage that the project may cause.

The project is being undertaken by Karnataka to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and the districts of Belagavi and Gadag.

Following the verdict, tension had gripped most parts of northern Karnataka including Gadag, Hubballi, Dharwad and Belagavi as protests against the interim order turned violent with government offices coming under attack.

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