MBA condemns Parrikar’s U turn over Mhadei, urges CM to be firm

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 08 January 2016 11:49 IST

Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan has condemned the assurance defence minister Manohar Parrikar has given to Karnataka to take initiative for out-of-court settlement on the Mhadei water diversion dispute.

Rajendra Kerkar, MBA secretary and Goa’s renowned environmentalist, has also urged Goa’s Bharatiya Janata Party government to remain firm on its policy decision neither to go for out-of-court settlement nor have bilateral talks with Karnataka on the issue.

Goa’s green circles as well as social activists are surmised over Parrikar’s U turn on the Mhadei issue (click) and assuring people of Karnataka to take lead in initiating talks between both the states.

“It does not suit a central minister playing to the gallery and making statements that would spell doom for Goa”, said Kerkar.

The issue of Karnataka’s plan to divert 7 TMC water from Mhadei river to Malprabha river to solve the drinking water problem of Dharwad and surrounding areas is presently being argued before the Mhadei water dispute tribunal.

After building Kalsa-Bandura canals from Kankumbi to divert the water in violation of even court orders, Karnataka is now desperately trying for an out-of-court settlement over the issue.

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has bluntly rejected the proposal and even Karnataka’s request to have bilateral talks on the proposal with his counterpart in Karnataka.

“Is he the same Parrikar who went to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with all-party delegation in 2002 to get the centre’s letter withdrawn to allow diversion of water”, asks Kerkar.

 

He also reminds Goa’s former chief minister that the demand to set up the tribunal was made during his tenure as Goa’s chief minister.

Click to read 'Mhadei diversion letter kepty in abeyance'.

“How can he forget loyalty to his own land and give assurances to the neighbouring state in spite of knowing that his own land would be destroyed if the water is diverted”, ask Kerkar.

Instead, he feels, Parrikar as a central minister should have told Karnataka that the way they are bulldozing the diversion plan by throwing all the environmental laws to the winds is completely illegal.

According to Kerkar, the drinking water problem is created by Karnataka by destroying the river catchment areas as well as the forests without bothering about the welfare of their own people.

“The Wild Life Protection Act 1972 states clearly that no natural flow of any river can be disturbed and water can be diverted”, pointed out the environmentalist.

Karnataka has also violated all the norms of protecting environment and forests while digging the canals through forests.

“Since these norms come under central acts, as a central minister, it is Parrikar’s responsibility to act tough with the violators. Instead, he is entertaining them”, Kerkar expressed regrets. 

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