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Solving Interstate Disputes

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A brief timeline of the Mahadayi/Mandovi River water dispute


Kalasa-Banduri Nala Project

  • Aim: The project aims to construct 11 dams on the tributaries of river Mahadayi to divert water from Kalasa and Banduri nalas.
    • The final objective is to divert water from the Mahadayi River to the Malaprabha River in Karnataka.
  • Significance: Once completed, it will improve the drinking water supply to the Belagavi, Dharwad, and Gadag districts of Karnataka.
  • Objection: The government of Goa had objected to the project, saying it would damage the state’s flora and fauna and affect its water needs.


About Mahadayi/Mandovi River

  • Origin: It originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belagavi district of Karnataka.
  • Path: It is a west flowing river and has a catchment area in Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively.
  • Important tributaries: Sarang, Mahainada, Udel, Lohi, Velvota Bicholim, Mapuce, Nanoda and Khandepar.
  • Important waterfalls: Dudhsagar Falls and Varapoha Falls.
  • Significance:
    • Mandovi River is described as the lifeline of the Indian state of Goa.
    • Mandovi joins with the Zuari River at a common creek at Cabo Aguada in Goa, forming the Mormugao harbour.


Mechanism for Inter-State River Water Disputes Resolution

Constitutional Provisions

  • Entry 17 of the State List: deals with water i.e., water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, and water storage and waterpower.
  • Entry 56 of Union List: empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys.
  • Article 262:
    • Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State River or river valley.
    • Parliament may, by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as mentioned above.

Laws enacted by the parliament under Article 262

  • River Board Act, 1956:
    • Purpose: To enable the Union Government to create Boards for Interstate Rivers and river valleys in consultation with State Governments.
    • The objective of Boards is to advise on the inter-state basin to prepare development schemes and to prevent the emergence of conflicts.
    • To date, no river board as per the above Act has been created.
  • Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956:
    • When a State Government makes a request regarding a water dispute and the Central Government is of the opinion that it cannot be resolved by negotiation, a Water Disputes Tribunal is constituted to adjudicate the dispute.
    • The act was amended in 2002, to include the major recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission. The amendments mandated a one-year time frame to set up the water disputes tribunal and also a 3-year time frame to give a decision.


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How many Dams will be made in Kalasa-Banduri Nala Project

11 Dams

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