Centre proposes to dissolve Mhadei water dispute tribunal

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 15 March 2016 20:49 IST

Goa has opposed centre’s move to dissolve the Mhadei water dispute tribunal.

While Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard next week, he has also agreed to take an all-party delegation to the national capital, if required.

This fact came to light in the Assembly today when opposition leader Pratapsing Rane moved a calling attention motion in this regard.

Ministry of Water Resources has moved a proposal in this regard while the hearing on the Mhadei water dispute before the tribunal is in final stages.

Goa’s water resources minister Dayanand Mandrekar said the proposal has come in view of MWS planning to set up Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunals all over India.

“However, we have requested the centre to exclude the existing Mhadei water dispute tribunal from this provision as the hearing has reached a final stage with next hearing scheduled on 23 April”, Mandrekar told the House.

In his written reply, Mandrekar stated:

“Section 4 of the proposed amendment stated that ‘With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint, there shall be established a Tribunal, to be called the Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal, for adjudication of water disputes. Provided that on and from the date of establishment of the Tribunal, all existing Tribunals shall stand dissolved and the water disputes pending adjudication before such existing Tribunals shall stand transferred to the Tribunal".

Additional Secretary to Niti Ayog had written to Goa government on 13 January that the Ministry of Water Resources is intending to make amendment to the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

Goa’s chief secretary has replied to it on 19 February and the centre’s reply is still awaited, said Mandrekar.  

When Rane pointed out that Karnataka government is completing the Kalsa-Bandura canal at Kankumbi on war footing to divert the Mhadei water to Malprabha river, Mandrekar said his officials are collecting weekly reports of the developments, which would be placed before the tribunal.

“We cannot physically go and fight them when the tribunal has not stopped it in spite of our request”, said the minister, when the opposition leader also pointed out that Karnataka is following all kind of methods to pressurise the centre to pressurise Goa to divert the water.

“They are desperate because our case is strong and no law allows  shifting of water from one basin to the other”, said Mandrekar.

Deputy speaker Vishnu Wagh suggested that an all-party delegation should go to Delhi to counter these moves of the southern state.

Rane suggested that the House passes a unanimous resolution in this regard.

But CM concluded the discussion by informing that we could adopt all the methods after reviewing the outcome of his meeting with the PM.

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