All-party delegation for Delhi on Mhadei

| 11 July 2002 23:13 IST

An all-party delegation from Goa is planning to air-dash the national capital, to meet central authorities on water resources and oppose Karnataka's sinister designs to divert water of river Mhadei without sanction.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar today confirmed that the delegation will meet union water resources minister Arjun Sethi on 26 July, amidst the monsoon Parliament session. It will include leaders and presidents of all the parties that represent in the Assembly.

"We will also demand sternest action possible against water resources secretary B N Nawlawala for manipulating a letter to release water to Karnataka", said Parrikar.

Following a verbal complaint in this regard made to prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the state government has also officially written to Vajpayee as well as Sethi in this regard.

Mhadei originates in the forests of Karnataka but flows mainly through Goa to join the Arabian sea as river Mandovi. Karnataka however plans to construct at least seven dams and three hydroelectric projects, by diverting the waters to river Malprabha.

The official figures indicate that Goa covers the catchment area of 1580 sq kms of the Mhadei basin while Karnataka covers 375 sq kms. It also includes 76 sq kms of catchment area, which falls in Maharashtra.

While the matter is still pending before the CWC, Nawlawala has reportedly issued a letter to the Karnataka government, allowing diversion of 7.56 TMC of water, once the matter is decided. Based on this letter, Karnataka has already assured drinking water for Hubli and Dharwar, besides seeking NTPC permission for hydroelectric purpose.

"I have also written to the forest and environment ministry not to allow any of these projects as they would prove ecologically disastrous", says Parrikar. With the all-party delegation, he in fact plans to demand to sack Nawlawala for issuing the illegal letter.

According to Parrikar, Karnataka government has managed the letter by giving service extension for Nawlawala. The southern state has also manipulated figures to show water shortage in places like Hubli and Dharwar when there is ample water for drinking and irrigation purpose, he adds.

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