Mandovi river also goes by the name of Mahadayi river. It is the lifeline of Goa. Mandovi and Zuari are the two main rivers in Goa. Madovi river meets Zuari river at Cabo Aguada. They together form Mormugao harbour. The total length of the river is 81km.
FACTS ABOUT MANDOVI RIVER
• It comes from a group of 30 springs in Bhimgad, Karnataka's Belagavi district, in the Western Ghats.
• The Mandovi River enters Goa from the north through the Sattari Taluka and from Karnataka's Uttara Kannada District at the Castle Rock Rly. Stn.
• The Mandovi River travels through Karnataka's Belagavi and Uttara Kannada, as well as Goa's Cumbarjua, Divar, and Choro, before emptying into the Arabian Sea.
• Nerul River, St Inez Creek, Rio de Ourém, Mapusa River, Valvanti River, Udnai River, Dudhsagar River, Ragada River, and Kotrachi Nadi are all tributaries of the Mandovi or Mhadei.
• The Cumbarjua Canal, which connects both rivers, has opened up the interiors of the Mandovi to iron ore ships. Goa's main mineral is iron ore, which is extracted in the eastern hills.
• In the Mandovi river, near the village of Old Goa, there are three major freshwater islands: Divar, Choro, and Vanxim.
• The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, named after the great ornithologist Salim Ali, is located on the island of Choro. The residents are transported between the islands and the mainland via a regular ferry service.
KALASA-BANDURI PROJECT DISPUTE
• The initiative will boost drinking water supplies in the three districts of Belagavi, Dharwad, and Gadag, according to the Karnataka government.
• It has been planned since 1989, but Goa had objected.
• It entails constructing a dam across the Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of the Mahadayi River to transfer water to the Malaprabha, a Krishna River tributary.
• The Malaprabha river provides drinking water to the districts of Dharwad, Belgaum, and Gadag.
• In 2010, the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was established. The tribunal includes Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra as participants.
REASONS FOR THE DISPUTE
• Maharashtra and Goa's bordering districts, as well as northern Karnataka, rely on the Mahadayi River basin for water. It specifies drinking water and irrigation standards.
• The water in most of Goa's rivers is salty. As a result, the Mahadayi river, as a significant source of sweet water, receives even more importance. Goa is in desperate need of water from this spring.
• In the state of Goa, it is extremely essential for fishing.
• Any diversion of this river's water will have a negative influence on Goa's fragile ecosystem. Monsoons are necessary for the Mahadayi River to flow. The Mahadayi river's mangroves would be decimated if saltwater was mixed with it.
• The main point of contention is the amount of water that Goa receives. The state of Karnataka claims that extra Mahadayi water being squandered by pouring into the sea. As a result, the water should be transferred to Karnataka's water-scarce Malaprabha basin. This water could be used for drinking water, agriculture, irrigation, and power generation, among other things.
• Goa refutes Karnataka's assertions, citing the state's water shortage as a factor. As a result, limiting the water supply will harm the country's agricultural production.
• The Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal was established in 2010 to investigate the situation. It allowed Karnataka to divert 13.45 TMC to the Malaprabha dam in 2018, rather than the 7.56 TMC originally planned.
• Karnataka was given permission to remove 1.18 TMC from the Kalasa nala and 2.27 TMC from the Banduri nala, respectively, from their original claims of 3.56 and 4 TMC.
• However, the impasse between the two countries lasted until 2019. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry stated in 2019 that the project did not require any environmental approval because it aimed to meet drinking water demands. However, Goa refused to accept it.
• In 2020, the Supreme Court gave the Karnataka government temporary relief, allowing it to carry out the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal's (MWDT) final order, which was challenged by Goa and Maharashtra. The construction could benefit the state's disaster-prone northern districts.
• The apex court's final order would be issued after hearing the petitions submitted by all three states that have objected to the tribunal's order, according to the bench chaired by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.