CWC letter over Mhadei creates flutter

| 09 May 2002 23:15 IST

Goa has demanded a thorough inquiry into the alleged misconduct of an official of the Central Water Commission, for indirectly favouring Karnataka in the ongoing water diversion dispute.

A letter written by a senior CWC official to the Karnataka government that the state will be allowed to divert water of Mhadei river has created flutter in the state here, on the eve of Assembly elections by the month end.

"I have written to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as well as the CWC to conduct an inquiry into the misguiding letter", confirms chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

The matter of water diversion of Mhadei is still being heard before the CWC. Karnataka plans to construct seven dams and three hydroelectric projects by diverting water of river Mhadei, which originates in Karnataka but flows down through Goa to join the Arabian sea as river Mandovi.

According to Parrikar, the letter states about allowing Karnataka to use 7.5 TMT of Mhadei water for drinking water purpose for Hubli and Dharwar, once the CWC allocates the quota for Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

"Though it is a fact that Karnataka may be allocated not more than 15 per cent of Mhadei water, it is too premature to make any commitments in this regard to any state when the matter is still being heard", states Parrikar.

The chief minister however firmly feels that no state will be allowed to construct even a single major dam anywhere in the Mhadei region, due to ecological reasons. "At the most small bandharas will be allowed", he adds.

Karnataka not only has plans to construct dams but even hydroelectric projects, once the water is diverted from Mhadei basin to Malprabha river, which is part of Krishna basin. In fact, the southern state has even sought a green signal from the NTPC for the hydroelectric projects.

"What difference does it make ? The NTPC cannot give them water", quips Parrikar, while Karnataka politicians have been using these letters to woo its electorate and create confusion in the tourist state, for whom Mhadei is their lifeline.

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