Mahadayi: Goa’s plaint now irrelevant: Karnataka

The Karnataka government on Tuesday told the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal that the complaint filed by the Goa government was no longer relevant as it has conceded that the availability of water in the basin was 113.50 tmcft as against its previous claim of 54 tmcft.

Putting forth its arguments, state counsel advocate Mohan V Katarki submitted before a bench presided over by Justice J M Panchal that Goa has claimed that there was absolutely no scope for diversion of water outside the basin to Malaprabha river but there was no averment in its complaint that Malaprabha was a surplus river.

The state government also contended that there was no express claim by Goa in its complaint that its interests or that of its inhabitants would be affected by the acts of Karnataka.

The Goa government had objected to the Karnataka government building big reservoirs in the basins of Malaprabha and Kali rivers, beyond its own requirements. Karnataka sought diversion of over 7 tmcft of water from Mahadayi basin to Malaprabha basin on the ground that riverwater going to sea is wastage. It, however, withdrew a contempt plea against the Karnataka government.

In its contention, the Karnataka government said, “The complaint or grievance of the state of Goa is founded against the water bodies studies conducted by the National Water Development Study. However, this grievance does not survive, because the state has now pleaded that the useful water in the Mahadayi basin is not 54 tmcft but 113.50 tmcft, which is strongly disputed by Karnataka.”

The Karnataka government also submitted that the manner of planning, feasibility of a project, yield at the project site, choice of resources cannot be the subject matter of adjudication and fell outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

A riparian state, out of its equitable share in the waters of an inter-state river, has an autonomy under the Constitution to plan its water resources as it considered fit, the Karnataka government contended.

The Karnataka government on Tuesday told the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal that the complaint filed by the Goa government was no longer relevant as it has conceded that the availability of water in the basin was 113.50 tmcft as against its previous claim of 54 tmcft.

Putting forth its arguments, state counsel advocate Mohan V Katarki submitted before a bench presided over by Justice J M Panchal that Goa has claimed that there was absolutely no scope for diversion of water outside the basin to Malaprabha river but there was no averment in its complaint that Malaprabha was a surplus river.

The state government also contended that there was no express claim by Goa in its complaint that its interests or that of its inhabitants would be affected by the acts of Karnataka.

The Goa government had objected to the Karnataka government building big reservoirs in the basins of Malaprabha and Kali rivers, beyond its own requirements. Karnataka sought diversion of over 7 tmcft of water from Mahadayi basin to Malaprabha basin on the ground that riverwater going to sea is wastage. It, however, withdrew a contempt plea against the Karnataka government.

In its contention, the Karnataka government said, “The complaint or grievance of the state of Goa is founded against the water bodies studies conducted by the National Water Development Study. However, this grievance does not survive, because the state has now pleaded that the useful water in the Mahadayi basin is not 54 tmcft but 113.50 tmcft, which is strongly disputed by Karnataka.”

The Karnataka government also submitted that the manner of planning, feasibility of a project, yield at the project site, choice of resources cannot be the subject matter of adjudication and fell outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

A riparian state, out of its equitable share in the waters of an inter-state river, has an autonomy under the Constitution to plan its water resources as it considered fit, the Karnataka government contended.

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