Dec. 31, 2019

Bus services between Kolhapur and Belgaum were suspended after the decades-old border dispute related to Belgaum between Maharashtra and Karnataka flared up again.

States Reorganisation Act of 1956:

  • The dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka over Belgaum and other border areas is a longstanding issue between the two states.

  • The erstwhile Bombay Presidency, a multilingual province, included the present-day Karnataka districts of Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwar and Uttara-Kannada (previously North Kanara).

  • However, the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, which divided states on linguistic and administrative lines, made Belgaum a part of the then Mysore State (renamed Karnataka in 1973).

Mahajan commission:

  • The Maharashtra government contested the inclusion and lodged a protest with the Centre in September 1957. This led to the formation of the Mahajan Commission under former Chief Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan in October 1966.

  • The Commission, which submitted its report in August 1967, recommended that 264 villages be transferred to Maharashtra and that Belgaum and 247 villages remain with Karnataka.

  • Maharashtra rejected the report and continues to claim over 865 villages along the border, as well as Belgaum city, which are currently part of Karnataka.