Two of the three blockades, built on water diversion conduits by the Karnataka government along the Mhadei river, have been removed and water is already being diverted from the Mhadei river to the Malaprabha river basin in the Southern State, Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar said on Wednesday.
“The rear end of the conduit was checked and it was observed that water was flowing through two of the three conduits… The issue is being taken very seriously and an application will be presented before the Tribunal immediately,” Palienkar told the state assembly while replying to a Calling Attention Motion moved by Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo and Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Rajesh Patnekar.
The contempt petition will be filed on Friday, Palienkar said.
“We are taking up the issue. We know the seriousness and any government will try to defend its own position… We have to protect our state’s interest,” Parrikar said, adding that it was irrelevant whether the Congress or the BJP was in power in Karnataka.
Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently battling a dispute over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the Mhadei river at a central Tribunal.
Mhadei or the Mandovi river is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of the State. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through the territory of Maharashtra.
Seventy-eight per cent of the basin of the Mhadei river lies in Goa, while 42.79 per cent of the basin is located in Karnataka, and a small portion is located in Maharashtra.
Karnataka also plans to build seven dams at various points along the river, including at Kalsa village, to divert the flow to the “water-starved” Malaprabha basin in North Karnataka.