Goa to move Green court against Karnataka

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 01 August 2012 13:39 IST

Goa is planning to move to the Green tribunal against Karnataka government for constructing canals to divert Mhadei river, the reserved forest area.

Water resources minister Dayanand Mandrekar admitted that Karnataka government had forcibly started construction canals in Kalsa and Bhandura areas to divert waters of Mhadei basin to Malprabha basin.

However he failed to tell the Assembly whether the work is completed or still half way.

Fatorda independent MLA Vijay Sardesai brought it to the notice of the House that the illegal work is almost complete and the water would get diverted by January next year.

He also pointed out that almost 23 Karnataka MLAs, irrespective of party affiliations, including chief minister Jagdish Shettar were fully behind this project, in order to provide water for irrigation to the areas like Dharwad and Hubli.

Mandrekar kept on telling the whole story of how many times Goa government had objected to the works started by Karnataka and how even a room was not provided for the tribunal to start its hearings.

The water dispute tribunal over Mhadei river has been set up by the centre at the request of Goa government.

The centre, at the request of Goa government, had also withdrawn the in principle permission given to Karnataka to construction canals.

The go ahead given in 2002 was withdrawn immediately, following all-party delegation from Goa.

Meanwhile, said chief minister Manohar Parrikar, that Goa’s irrigation department had also moved to the Supreme Court as the tribunal could not start hearings due to lack of proper space and necessary infrastructure.

However, Sardesai asked why Goa has not approached the green tribunal or the Supreme Court against Karnataka’s construction work in reserved forest without getting permission from the forest and environment ministry.

At this, Parrikar finally agreed to approach also the green court.

Mandrekar however dismissed Sanquelim MLA Pramod Sawant’s proposal to elect a fact-finding committee of the House to visit the sites of Kalsa and Bhandura.

“Our special cell has been monitoring the whole work at Kalsa and Bhandura, including photographing it and still and video cameras”, he said.

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