Bengaluru: Karnataka will soon re-submit the Mahadayi river project to the central government for environment clearance. The project would help supply water to four drought-prone Karnataka districts in the northwest region, an official said, here on Saturday.
“We will submit a revised proposal to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, although the Water Resources Department in February had allowed the state to go ahead with the project,” the official told IANS.
The central government on February 27 notified the Mahadayi inter-state water tribunal award after the Supreme Court’s directive on February 20. The tribunal on August 14, 2018, allocated 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) water to Karnataka.
Goa, which opposed Karnataka’s demand for 36.66 tmcft, was allocated 24 tmcft and Maharashtra 1.3 tmcft.
The 77 km-long Mahadayi or Mandovi river originates at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belagavi district and flows into Goa through Maharashtra and joins the Arabian Sea off the west coast.
Though the river flows 29 km in Karnataka and 52 km in Goa, its catchment area is spread over 2,032 km in the southern state against 1,580 km in the western state.
“The Chief Minister (B.S. Yediyurappa) in the 2020-21 state budget on March 5 allocated Rs 500 crore for the project to start civil works in the Kalasa and Bhandari tributaries of the river this year,” the official said.
The project will supply water to the people and farms in the four arid districts of Bagalkot, Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag in the Deccan region.
“We have learnt the Union Environment Ministry has advised us to re-submit the project report for forest clearance, though we are yet to receive the letter. All ecological needs will be complied with to protect the bio-diversity of the area,” the official said.
The state had earlier sought the Ministry’s consent to divert 501 hectares of forest land for the project, including 258 hectares to build the Kalasa Nala dam near Kanakumbi village and 243 hectares for Bandura Nala Dam near Nersa village in the Belagavi district.
The three-member inter-state tribunal, set up on November 16, 2010, comprised Justice J.M. Panchal, Justice Viney Mittal and Justice P.S. Narayana. It was adjudicated the Mahadayi basin water allocation among the three riparian and contiguous states.