Panaji (Goa): Goa government has warned Karnataka not to play dirty politics over the Mhadei river water diversion, and follow directions of Inter State Water Disputes Tribunal.
Speaking to reporters in Goa after conducting site inspection at Kalsa Bandura canal where the adjoining state has restarted the work of water diversion full fledged, Minister Vinod Palyekar castigated Karnataka for indulging in contempt as matter is still being heard in Tribunal.
“Mhadei is Goa’s identity and we will not allow Karnataka to destroy our identity. Goa government will not tolerate this. I have warned the Karnataka not to play dirty politics with Goa and not to violate the court directives,” he said.
The minister has constituted a a team of water resources officials to monitor the situation at Kalsa canal every week.
Anguished that the violation by the southern neighbouring state comes at the time when Goa is on y he verge of winning the case in the Tribunal,
Minister said Goa will present the evidence of violation by Karnataka during next hearing on February 6.
“The full-fledged work at Kalsa canal has diverted Mhadei river water to Karnataka’s Malaprabha basin. We condemn this. The evidence will be submitted to Tribunal,” he claimed.
Last week, the former and present legislators demanded that Goa government should not bent down to Karnataka’s “request to utilise 7.56TMC of water from the Mhadei for drinking purposes in the drought-prone areas of north Karnataka.”
President of Mahadayi Bachao Abhiyan and ex-minister Nirmala Sawant has opposed sharing of river water to another basin. “Karnataka can use it within the basin, but asking for Goa’s share and diverting it to Malaprabha basin and thereafter to Dharwad and Hubli districts does not fit the law. They do not want water for drinking purpose as they claim but for sugarcane growers and industries in Dharwad,” she alleged asking Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to not hold any discussions with its counterpart.She had pointed out that if Goa will quench thirst of north Karnataka, then why not its very own State wherein capital city Panjim is already short of 10 MLD. Sawant claimed that Mhadei already has a share of 29 kms of Mhadei river water stretch and it should intend to infringe into Goa’s share.
Another ex-legislator Babuso Gaonkar claimed that Karnataka is rich in forests and water resources and as such it should not depend on Goa for further share of water.
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo also demanded that Goa government should not compromise on Mhadei.