The Centre has convened a meeting of the chief ministers of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa to find a solution to the dispute regarding the waters of Mandovi river.
A demand that the central government should intervene to resolve the issue had come from Goa, when an all-party delegation met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in July.
The river, which is also called Mhadei, originates in Karnataka, but 80 per cent of its water flows through Maharashtra and Goa before joining the Arabian Sea.
In March, Karnataka had got a clearance from the Central Water Commission to divert 7.56 tmcft [thousand million cubic feet] of water from the Mhadei basin.
Goa alleged that former CWC secretary B N Nawalawala had issued the letter in return for extension of his service. The state managed to keep the letter in abeyance and shift the officer from the position in September.
Sources said Karnataka wanted to provide drinking water to the people of Hubli and Dharwar by diverting the river.
Rather than setting up a tribunal, the Centre is now trying to resolve the issue through negotiations.
The Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan has also opposed any move to set up a tribunal.
Karnataka wants to construct at least seven dams and three hydroelectric projects by diverting the Mhadei water to river Malprabha. This in spite of the fact that Goa covers 1580 sq km of the catchment area of Mhadei basin while Karnataka covers only 375 sq km. Maharashtra covers 76 sq km of the catchment area.
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