Karnataka: A bandh has been called in North Karnataka on Wednesday over the issue of getting inter-state Mahadayi river water from Goa to meet the drinking water needs of drought-prone areas of the region.
The dawn-to-dusk bandh, called by 'Mahadayi Kalasa Banduri Nala Horata Samanvaya Samiti', an umbrella organisation spearheading the agitation on the issue, is being supported by several pro-Kannada and other organisations, including the Kannada film industry.
Terming the bandh as a "warning bell" to the state and central governments, the samiti leaders on Tuesday demanded a solution at the earliest, even as they hit out at political parties for playing politics on the issue, as per PTI.
Karnataka, which has locked horns with neighbouring Goa on sharing Mahadayi River water, is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
It is being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag.
The project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi river, to divert 7.56 tmcft water to Malaprabha which meets drinking water needs of the region.
The Karnataka government had earlier petitioned the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal which in its interim order had rejected the state's plea citing various grounds, including ecological damage the project may cause.
Meanwhile, Karnataka`s ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP on Tuesday blamed each other on the deadlock over getting Mahadayi river water from Goa.
Even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the inter-state dispute, BJP`s state unit president BS Yeddyurappa said the state Congress leaders should convince their Goan leaders to allow their CM Manohar Parrikar to settle the issue amicably.
"As Parrikar has agreed to discuss the issue with Karnataka, Siddaramaiah should ensure his party`s leaders in Goa do not oppose releasing the river water for the drinking needs of the people in the northern districts of our state," Yeddyurappa told reporters, as per IANS.
Parrikar had written to Yeddyurappa on December 21 that he was open to discussing the issue with his Karnataka counterpart.
(With Agency inputs)