New Delhi : In a major relief to Karnataka, the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal allowed additional 5.5 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of water from Goa share for its drinking water needs. It allowed diversion of water to the Malaprabha reservoir during the monsoon for drinking water and irrigation in its four districts.
The Goa government was opposing this diversion since it affected the water flow in the Mandovi river, the lifeline of the coastal state. It also feared that the reservoir in Karnataka will result in submergence of over 700 hectares of forests and destruction of some 60,000 trees.
In its interim award in 2016, the Tribunal had rejected Karnataka’s demand for 7.5 TMC from Goa quota for drinking water to the twin cities of Hubbali-Dharwad and villages in parts of Gadag and Belagavi districts.
In its final award ending five decades of the dispute submitted to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari, the tribunal also allotted another 8.02 TMC to Karnataka to produce electricity from the hydroelectric project on the river that means the state is allowed to draw 13.52 TMC before releasing water to the Mandovi river in Goa.
While the Goa government welcomed the verdict, Karnataka would study the final verdict before deciding on its next move, said an official statement here.