Mhadei dispute: Goa seeks action against Karnataka officials

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Panaji : In a disobedience petition filed before the Mhadei Inter-state Water Disputes Tribunal in the national capital, the Goa government has sought the arrest of officials of the Karnataka government for violation of the adjudicating body's orders.

The petition comes a week after the Tribunal in its award allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) water to Karnataka, resolving a decades-old dispute primarily between Goa and Karnataka, as well as Maharashtra government's claim over sharing of water from the Mhadei river, also known as the Mahadayi in Karnataka.

"In our prayer, we have prayed for the arrest of the officials of Karnataka who are involved in these violations and attachment of properties of the State of Karnataka," state's Advocate General Dattaprasad Lawande told reporters in Panaji.

He also said that the disobedience petition was filed under Rule 2A of the Civil Procedure Code before the Tribunal.

The Goa government has maintained that despite an injunction ordered by the Tribunal against actual diversion of the Mhadei water -- before the award was delivered -- Karnataka had already started diversion of the water using canals at Kalsa village, located on the Goa-Karnataka border.

The Goa government now wants the officials responsible for "illegally" diverting the water arrested and the canals built by them attached by the Tribunal.

Last week, the Tribunal which was hearing a dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra over sharing of water from the Mhadei river had allotted 13.42 tmcft (including 7.56 tmcft for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) from the Mhadei river basin to Karnataka, as against 36.55 tmcft demanded by the southern state, while also allotting 1.33 tmcft to Maharashtra.

Mhadei river is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of the state. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through the territory of Maharashtra.

While 78 per cent of the basin of the Mhadei river lies in Goa, 42.79 per cent of the basin is located in Karnataka and a small portion comes under Maharashtra.