PANAJI: The Mhadei water disputes tribunal, which delivered its verdict on Tuesday, allowed Goa to use 24tmc ft of water for 59 identified projects in addition to current utilisation of 9.39tmc ft. The tribunal did not put any restriction on non-consumptive use or water uses that do not substantially deplete supply.

Maharashtra was allotted 1.33tmc ft of water. The total water available in the Mhadei catchment area is 188.06tmc ft.

“In the absence of any apportionment of water amongst the party states, the activities related to water resources development for the benefit of the society must not stop and people of the party state must not suffer,” the tribunal bench said while passing the order.

The tribunal remarked that the claim of future requirement of water by the states including Goa, and Maharashtra was not justified and it was not based on adequate and consistent data or information, scientific research and studies.

The tribunal also pointed out that water requirements were without proper evaluation and consideration of social, economic and ecological parameters, and without examining the sustainability of the resource.

In a detailed award running into 2,711 pages, comprising 12 volumes, it said the present level of utilisation of waters of the Mhadei river basin is not more than 5%.

Karnataka was allotted 1.5tmc ft of water for in-basin use for drinking and within the Mhadei river basin, while the tribunal allowed diversion of 2.18tmc ft to the proposed Bhandura and 1.72tmc ft to proposed dam.

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