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Mahadayi River, the Bone of Contention Between Goa and Karnataka: All You Need to Know

Mahadayi is one of India’s smallest rivers, but has sparked a major confrontation between Goa and Karnataka.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:January 25, 2018, 8:41 AM IST
Mahadayi River, the Bone of Contention Between Goa and Karnataka: All You Need to Know
File photo of farmers protest over the Mahadayi river water sharing issue (PTI)
Bengaluru: A state-wide bandh has been called in Karnataka by several pro-Kannada outfits, demanding the Centre’s intervention in the inter-state Mahadayi riverwater dispute with Goa. The outfits claim that Thursday’s bandh is a protest against the visit of BJP chief Amit Shah to participate in a public meeting in Mysore. The groups have called for a separate Bengaluru bandh on February 4, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the city.

Here’s what you need to know about the Mahadayi river dispute:

— Mahadayi, known as Mandovi in Goa, is one of India’s smallest rivers. Goa capital Panaji is on the banks of Mandovi river.

— This rain-fed river originates at Bhimghad in Belgaum district of Karnataka.

— The first 35 km of the Mahadayi river flows through Karnataka and remaining 52 km through Goa, before joining the Arabian Sea.

— Bordering areas of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra depend on Mahadayi river for their water needs.

— Renowned expert the late SG Balekundri first planned Mahadayi water diversion in 1970. The plan was to feed Malaprabha river and store the water in Navilatirtha dam in Karnataka's Dharwad district. This dam, built in the 1970s, has not been filled to its capacity, except on three or four occasions.

— Karnataka wants 7.56 TMC feet (thousand million cubic feet) from Mahadayi river for its drinking water needs in the Mumbai-Karnataka region. It wants to build barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, the two tributaries of Mahadayi. It can supply water to 180 villages and Hubli-Dharwad twin cities.

— Karnataka started the work in 2002 when SM Krishna was the chief minister.

— The BJP government in Goa, led by Manohar Parrikar, objected to it. It approached the Supreme Court demanding cancellation of the project and cited ecological reasons.

— After all attempts to hammer out a negotiation failed, the UPA-2 constituted the Mahadayi Water Disputes Redressal Tribunal in 2010.

— After the tribunal, in its interim order, rejected Karnataka’s plea for diverting 7.56 TMC feet of water, there were violent protests across the Mumbai-Karnataka region.

— The Goa government claims that if Karnataka is allowed to divert the water, over 700 hectares of forest will be submerged and 60,000 trees will be cut.

— Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has blamed PM Narendra Modi for not showing any interest in resolving the issue.

— After the recent protests by local farmers, BJP Karnataka president BS Yeddyurappa rushed to New Delhi, seeking an immediate solution.

— Amit Shah had convened a meeting of Manohar Parrikar and BS Yeddyurappa.

— But nothing came out of it as the BJP alliance partner in Goa, the Goa Forward Party is opposing negotiations with Karnataka.

— Mumbai-Karnataka, which is demanding Mahadayi water, is BJP’s stronghold and Lingayats are in large number in this region.

| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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