The tribunal setup to resolve the Mahadayi river water dispute among Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, headed by retired Justice JM Panchal, visited the project area in Belgaum on Wednesday.
The 54-member team, which will be in the state for four-days, was welcomed by irrigation minister MB Patil, along with other ministers Satish Jarkiholi, Prakash Hukkeri and senior officials of the state.
The team visited the proposed sites of Haltara dam, Kalsa dam, Kotani dam, and Surala and Kalsa river connecting areas. They were accompanied by legal and technical experts from Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The project aims at utilising only about 7.50 tmcft of water of the Mahadayi basin through a diversion project at the confluence of Kalasa and Banduri nalas near Kanakumbi in Khanapur taluk, Belgaum district.
Though Mahadayi basin has nearly 210 tmcft of water, the Goan government took objection after the people of north Karnataka asked for 7.50 tmcft of water for drinking purpose. Following Goa’s objection, the tribunal was set-up under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956 and is expected to give its final verdict by the end of 2015.
Advocate general Ravivarma Kumar; senior advocates for Karnataka Sharath Javali, Mohan Katarki, Brujesh Kalappa, MB Jirli, Anita Shenoy, Nishant Patil and Kashi Vishweshwar were present during the visit.
Principal secretary of Karnataka water resources department D Satyamurthy, secretary BG Gurupadswamy, and managing director of Karnataka Niravari Nigam Limited R Rudraiah were also present.
The team will visit Bandura dam area on December 19, Supa dam and Ambikanagar on December 20 and Malaprabha dam on December 21.
It will move to Bangalore on December 22 and will discuss with the chief minister, and ministers and officials concerned on December 23.