Bengaluru: Manohar Parrikkar, who breathed his last on March 17 after battling cancer, is known as one of the most efficient chief ministers of India. But one of the decisions he took kept Karnataka at loggerheads with Goa, when Parrikar was the chief minister.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar was against Mahadayi water project proposed by Karnataka. This tiff between the political heads of the two states led to increasing distance between them. Farmers and people of north Karnataka have staged more than 1000 days of protest demanding water from Mahadayi, but to no avail. 

What is Mahadayi project:

River Mahadayi that is called River Mandovi in Goa flows 52 km through Goa, 35 km through Karnataka and 16 km through Maharashtra. Karnataka had demanded diversion of 7.56 tmfc water from more than 200 tmfc water joining the sea. 

The project was first initiated in 1978. In 1980, SR Bommai commission gave a thumbs up to start the project. In 1988, Karnataka passed the bill, but Goa opposed it under the tenure of Congress's Pratapsingh Rane. In 1989, then Karnataka chief minister SR Bommai wrote to then Goa chief minister Rane and an agreement was signed to release 45 tmc water to Karnataka. 

In October, 2000, Manohar Parrikar became the chief minister of Goa. 

Previously in July, Karnataka forest department gave permission to build barrages on tributaries of Mahadayi known as Kalasa and Banduri. In 2002, the BJP government under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee granted permission to Karnataka to start work on Kalasa-Banduri project.

In July 2002, the water resources department of India gave its initial nod for releasing 7.56 tmc water from Kalasa-Banduri to Malaprabha river. But Goa, under chief minister Manohar Parrikar, opposed this in May, 2002, and he wrote to the water resources department to set up a tribunal to look into the issue. 

In September 2002, the water resources department stayed the initial approval. In December, 2002, Karnataka and Goa met the Centre and presented their facts in front of the water resources department.

In 2006, deputy chief minister of Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa and water resources minister KS Eshwarappa launched the project at Kanakumbi. In November 2006, Parrikar government appealed to the Supreme Court to stay the ongoing work. But the Supreme Court, after hearing the case, refused to bring a stay.

In 2010, Mahadayi inter-state water disputes tribunal was set up. The delegation from the tribunal visited north Karnataka in 2014. People of north Karnataka started protesting demanding water. 

Protests intensified since 2015, but failed to find any positive response. In 2016 June, Karnataka interim application is rejected by the tribunal. It directed Karnataka and Goa to solve the issue by compromise. 

This advise was welcomed by Karnataka government, whereas, Parrikar's government in Goa rejected it. 

In 2017, there were numerous protests and bandhs in Karnataka and people started expressing their anger against Goa administration.

In July, 2018, Goa government filed a complaint with the tribunal accusing the Karnataka government of digging a 5-km long canal in order to divert the Malaprabha river water. 

But the tribunal has ordered on August 24, 2018 to award 13.42 TMC from the primary basin to Karnataka against the demand for 36.5 TMC. Thus the Parrikar government welcomed the move, but Karnataka expressed disappointment over the verdict.