DHARWAD: The Mahadayi Neerigagi Mahavedike comprising various organizations agitating for Karnataka’s share in Mahadayi water has decided to be cautious while reacting to the verdict by Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal which is expected to be delivered on August 20.
Farmers will launch an indefinite protest at Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Saturday.

At a convened here on Friday to discuss the pros and cons of the Tribunal’s verdict, the members expressed confidence that the verdict would be favourable to Karnataka as the state government and legal experts representing the state have placed the facts and its claim effectively before the Tribunal. “If the verdict comes in favour of Karnataka, we should hold victory celebrations. If not, instead of launching a violent agitation, we should hold peaceful protests and take legal recourse,” they said.

They also pointed out that Goa had raised several objections which were struck down by the Tribunal indicating that Karnataka’s arguments and claim were right.

Mahadayi gets 200 tmc feet of water every year and Karnataka’s share is 45 tmc feet. The Kalasa Banduri project provides for the diversion of 7.6 tmc feet of water. The tribunal while allowing the work on Kalasa-Banduri to continue may set off 7.6 tmc from the total share of Karnataka in the final award.

Karnataka is seeking diversion of Mahadayi water to Malaprabha from Kalasa and Banduri streams to provide drinking water to Hubballi-Dharwad and villages in Dharwad, Savadatti, Nargund, Navalgund, Badami, Ron and Ramdurg taluks.

Mahavedike president Shankar Ambali said the time has come for finding a solution to the vexed issue by handling the issue delicately. He said there was no point in blaming state and central governments and resorting to violent agitations.

Laxman Bakkai, a member, said the state government should prepare to store the water that would be diverted from Mahadayi if the verdict comes in favour of Karnataka. He advised the forum to desist from a confrontationist attitude and sit with elected representatives and chalk out a strategy to get justice for Karnataka.

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