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Supreme Court will hear in-person petitions on Mahadayi river, says Goa CM

  The Supreme Court has agreed to an in-person hearing on the Mahadayi interstate water dispute, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told reporters on Wednesday.

A virtual hearing to fix a date for the in-person hearing will be held on August 14, he said.

Goa had requested the Supreme Court that in view of the “serious” nature of the case, it should not be taken forward through online hearings.

“Today the matter has come before the Supreme Court. We had demanded that this be a personal hearing. The SC has agreed to our demand and the matter has been fixed on August 14 to finalise a fresh date when the personal hearing can be held. Since this is a very serious issue between three states Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra we wanted a personal hearing,” he said.

Goa has opposed any diversion of waters of the River Mahadayi which originates in the Western Ghats in Karnataka takes a detour via Maharashtra and enters Goa as the Mandovi. The Mahadayi river basin drains an area of 2032 sq km, out of which an area of 375 sq km lies in Karnataka, 77 sq km in Maharashtra and rest in Goa.

Both the Goa and Karnataka governments have, for very different reasons, challenged the final award granted by the Mahadayi Interstate Water Disputes Tribunal which in a verdict in August 2018 granted Karnataka a total of 13.42 Thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) of water out of their demand for from their total claims of 36.558 TMC of water.

While Goa has approached the Supreme Court arguing that Karnataka shouldn’t be allowed to divert any water owing to the fact that the Mahadayi river is a water deficient river, Karnataka had approached the Supreme Court arguing that the tribunal erred in granting it only 13.42 TMC of water.