Bengaluru, Feb 4 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help in resolving the Mahadayi water dispute between the state and BJP-ruled neighbouring Goa.
“On behalf of my people, I urge you to help us resolve the Mahadayi dispute,” the Chief Minister tweeted, as Modi was on a day-long visit to the state.
Siddaramaiah had also written many letters to the Prime Minister to intervene in the issue through an out-of-court settlement as the inter-state issue is currently before the Supreme Court and the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.
Modi was in the city to address a BJP rally that marks the culmination of the party’s 90-day rally across the districts of poll-bound Karnataka.
Several pro-Kannada organisations staged protests at Freedom Park in the city centre on Sunday, demanding Modi’s intervention in the water issue to meet the drinking needs of the state’s four drought prone-districts: Bagalkote, Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag.
Though the river Mahadayi or Mandovi flows 29 km in Karnataka and 52 km in Goa, its catchment area is spread over 2,032 km in the southern state as against 1,580 km in Goa.
Karnataka has been asking Goa since 2001 to release 7.6 thousand million cubic feet of the river water to meet the drinking and irrigation needs of its people.
Karnataka plans to build two canals across the Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of the river in the state to divert and supply the water to the four districts.
The Tribunal, headed by J.N. Panchal, on July 28, 2016 rejected the state’s petition for releasing the water, citing various grounds, including ecological damage the twin canal projects may cause.