Parrikar dismisses political solution on Mhadei

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 07 August 2012 22:23 IST

Goa government has ruled out amicable political solution on the issue of Mhadei river diversion in spite of Bharatiya Janata Party ruling in Goa as well as Karnataka.

The issue was raised by Fatorda independent MLA Vijay Sardesai once again today.

He asked why Goa’s BJP government cannot talk to its own party counterparts in Karnataka and resolve the matter amicably.

While dismissing the possibility, chief minister Manohar Parrikar said the whole Karnataka Assembly is united over the issue, across the party lines, just like how Goa Assembly is united.

“It is beyond political parties”, he said.

Sardesai had moved a calling attention motion based on a latest TV report that showed near completion of the canal construction to diver the Mhadei water to Malprabha basin.

Water resources minister Dayanand Mandrekar, in reply, claimed that only 45 per cent work has been completed.

Sardesai suggested to him to send a team to ascertain the facts and not depend upon old reports of few months ago.

Few days ago, the government had agreed to Sardesai’s suggestion to approach the green court as Karnataka was constructing canals in the reserved forest without environmental clearance.

“The matter is technical and could be resolved only through the water dispute tribunal set up in this regard”, said Parrikar.

While the tribunal has not been provided space to sit for over two and a half years, Parrikar expressed hope that the Supreme Court would issue directives in this regard by 13 August, the next date of hearing.

Goa government had approached the apex court, demanding that sitting space be provided for the tribunal to start hearing of Mhadei diversion.

Karnataka, while opposing the constitution of tribunal, has already constructed canals in Karnataka to divert Mhadei water, in violation of directives not to go ahead with diversion.

Parrikar however said the first thing the government would do is to seek a stay from the tribunal on the construction work.

“I am hopeful of getting a stay by October”, said Parrikar.

Mhadei river has a length of 77 kms, 29 kms in Karnataka and 52 kms in Goa.

It originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belgaum district of Karnataka.

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