Karnataka HC stops Kalsa canal work on Mhadei

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 03 March 2013 10:27 IST

It’s a major sigh of relief for Goa, though through Karnataka high court, which has directed the Karnataka government to stop Kalsa canal work until it gets required clearances.

Karnataka government is constructing a canal at Kalsa-Bhandura to divert Haltar rivulet of Mhadei river to Malprabha river in Kankumbi.

A petition in this regard was filed by Belgaum-based ex-army personnel Ravindra Saini in 2009, challenging the construction work.

The canal work had started in 2006.

The Karnataka high court, on 28 February, directed the government not to carry out any canal work affecting forests without obtaining clearances from the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and the National Board for Wildlife .

Saini, in his petition, had brought to the notice of the court that Karnataka government is building the diversion canal through the forest area without seeking required clearances from the concerned central government authorities.

He had pointed out that as per the Kalasa-Bhandura project report, water from the Haltar nullah would be diverted through diversion channels to be laid from Haltar nullah to Kalasa reservoir.

Karnataka government argued in the court that the work carried out right now is not in the forest area but only in the revenue land.

It further argued that Haltar nullah is not part of the Mhadei river and even Goa government had no objection to it.

In fact Karnataka even contended that the Mhadei inter-state water dispute tribunal, presently hearing the case filed by Goa, would have no jurisdiction on this work.

The canal work has started with an argument to provide drinking water to Hubli, Dharwad and 10 other towns of Karnataka.

The plan is to divert 3.5 TMC water from Mhadei tributary to Malprabha basin.

The Karnataka court however rejected contention of Karnataka government and declined permission to carry out work on the diversion channel. 

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