Will decline in agriculture affect Mhadei case before tribunal?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 16 April 2016 21:17 IST

Will decline in agriculture in Goa weaken the case of Mhadei water diversion, advantage Karnataka?

A former bureaucrat feels so but not Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

The controversy has sprung up with recently retired IAS officer Mathew Samuel making a public statement that decline in agricultural activity would weaken Goa’s case on Mhadei.

Goa is opposing before the Mhadei water dispute tribunal Karnataka’s attempt to divert Mhadei water Goa-Karnataka border.

Karnataka has asked for diversion of Mhadei water in the Basin of Malprabha River, claiming that it is required for the purpose of drinking water in Dharwad and Huballi districts.

While releasing a book ‘Natural Heritage of Goa’ by Goa’s noted environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar, retired IAS officer Samuel said the fast-declining agricultural activity would have adverse impact on the Mhadei case.

     

Goa, when in liberated in 1961, was predominantly an agricultural state with around 80 % population involved in agriculture.

However, with fast-growing tourism industry, mining and housing, agricultural fields are either being destroyed or people have given up agriculture either to take up white collar jobs or going abroad.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has however refuted this claim by Samuel, who is now appointed as the secretary of non-functional Lokayukta.

“Our agricultural growth is growing very fast and my recent budget is primarily focussed on agriculture. We thus have no issue of weakening the Mhadei case due to this”, he told the media persons.

On the contrary, he feels the recently growth in agricultural sector would become a strong point while arguing the Mhadei case. 

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