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Mixed respone to Mhadei Tribunal verdict in Karnataka

Activists and farmers agitating on decades old Mhadei water sharing dispute have expressed ‘partial’ satisfaction over the verdict of the Tribunal but said the allocation of only 13.5 tmc ft of water including the run of river for power generation against the demand for 35 tmc ft should be contested.

Mhadei River

Mahadayi Horata Samithi President Veeresha Sobaradmatt, who spearheading the agitation since last more than 1135 days on trot, told newsmen “we are not fully satisfied with the verdict. Though we withdraw our agitation it is only temporary. We will be meeting on August 16 at Hubballi and decide future course of action.”

At Naragund in Gadag District the hotbed of Mahadayi agitation, the agitators termed the verdict as victory for their struggle. They burst crackers and distributed sweets. However, they were yet to take decision on withdrawing the agitation.

Senior Supreme Court Advocate Mohan Khatarki has stated that Karnataka would appeal against Mahadayi Tribunal verdict to get a higher allocation of water share.

Talking to newsmen at New Delhi, Khatarki said that “despite convincing the Tribunal about the need for 35 tmc of water, the verdict was given only for 13 tmc. I will discuss with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and will file an appeal.”

Karnataka BJP has welcomed the Tribunal verdict stating that it was a victory for those who were agitating on the issue.

Opposition leader in the Legislative Assembly and BJP State President B S Yeddyurappa welcoming the Tribunal verdict on the issue said from Raichur, “the state government should take steps immediately to utilise the State’s share allotted by the Tribunal and there should not be any laxity in taking up the works on the project stalled for many years due to legal battle.”

Senior Minister in the JDS-Coalition government H D Revanna has stated that the verdict was ‘unsatisfactory’ as demand of the State was not considered. “Will urge the Chief Minister to convene an all party meeting soon and discuss the issue and go for appeal against the verdict. It is unfortunate that the issue which is concerned about water for drinking purpose has been politicised and BJP leaders failed to bring pressure on the Centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to protect the interests of people of Karnataka by not interfering despite appeals made several time,” he added.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Dinesh Gundurao said that though the verdict has brought temporary relief it is not satisfactory. “Though I welcome the verdict at the same time I express my anguish since though the Tribunal was convinced about the need of Karnataka in the verdict the demand was not met totally.”

Rao said that the credit for partial victory should go to farmers who were agitating since last three years and various organisations and people who supported their full support for the cause.

In Belagavi, the agitators expressing their anguish over the verdict shouted slogans against the Union Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not intervening on the issue. They burnt tyres in middle of the roads demanding justice.

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com

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