The Mahadayi Tribunal is all set to pronounce its judgement by Aug 2018. The Mahadayi Tribunal was set up by UPA Government on Aug 20, 2013. But it had teething trouble without any basic facilities. Finally, it started working full-fledged from Aug 20, 2014. Legally, the tribunal can function only for five years. Since its term is almost coming to an end, the tribunal is expected to pronounce the judgement by Aug 2018, reports Kannada Prabha.
Though the Mahadayi river water sharing dispute is in the court, the possibility of it being settled politically cannot be ruled out. The Mahadayi river that flows in two states has caused enough dispute between the states. The Goa government has objected to the Kalasa Banduri project of the Karnataka government that is expected to quench several parched districts. The Mahadayi Tribunal was set up by the UPA government in 2013.
Mahadayi is not the only river dispute linked to politics. Krishna and Cauvery river disputes too have been embroiled in political game. In Mahadayi’s case, the Congress and BJP's self-interests are not allowing the issue to resolved outside the Tribunal. In 2007, AICC President Sonia Gandhi had campaigned in Goa and had stated that if Congress comes to power in Goa it would not allow Mahadayi water for Karnataka at any cost. Congress came to power in Goa. At that time, there was a non-Congress government in Karnataka. Now, Karnataka has Congress government and BJP government in Goa. Any appeal from the State is being rejected by the Goa government stating that ‘your party leader is against it’. However, there is no clear majority for BJP in Goa.
In fact, the Congress had actually emerged as a big party but the BJP managed to get to the power through political game plan. If the government takes a stand that is detrimental to Goa, then the government fears that independents may withdraw their support. Hence, it has become a do or die situation.
In Karnataka, around 50 Assembly constituencies in Dharwad and Belagavi will be the beneficiaries of Mahadayi project. If BJP has to win here it must somehow convince Goa government to come to an agreement to facilitate Mahadayi for Karnataka. If both states wish and the respective environment departments approve, the issue can be resolved outside the Tribunal. It requires political willingness and intentions beyond political gains. A policy that can be evolved to prove this will give a new dimension to the democracy. With BJP National President Amit Shah asking the Goa government to look at a possible solution has given hopes for a speedy solution.