Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Geography [Paper-I]: Physical, Social, Economic Geography of World, India and Kerala
Union Ministry for Environment and Forests has rejected Goa government’s demand seeking withdrawal of a letter issued by the central ministry giving a go ahead to Karnataka’s controversial water diversion project at Kalasa-Banduri across the Mahadayi River.
Kalasa Banduri Project
- The project proposes to divert water of Mahadayi River (also known as Mandovi) from Kalasa and Banduri canals into the Malaprabha River.
- The project aims to facilitate drinking water to 13 towns of Dharwad, Belagavi, Bagalkote and Gadag that is part of the northern parts of Karnataka that is home to the second most arid regions in the country after Rajasthan.
Why Karnataka and Goa are fighting over Mahadayi?
- The trigger for the dispute was Karnataka’s move to design a number of dams, canals and barrages to route the Mahadayi river water to the Malaprabha basin.
- Karnataka claimed that channelling the river water into the basin of Malaprabha, a tributary of the Krishna, would meet the requirements of water-scarce districts of Bagalkot, Gadag, Dharwad and Belagavi.
- Goa contended that its population is dependent on the river’s natural path and any move to divert it would affect its fragile ecosystem.
- It claimed that the ingress of saltwater in the river, which is dependent on monsoons, will ultimately end up killing the state’s mangroves and green belt, disturb the relationship between the people and the land, as well as the ecological balance.
- After sustained efforts by the government of Goa, the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up on November, 2010.
- In August 2018, the tribunal had allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) from the Mhadei river basin (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka and Maharashtra was allotted 1.33 TMC.
- Both Karnataka and Goa have contested the order and the matter is now pending in apex court.
[Source: Indian Express, Livemint]