Goa assembly unanimously resolves to oppose Mhadei diversion - Hindustan Times
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Goa assembly unanimously resolves to oppose Mhadei diversion

Jan 20, 2023 01:41 PM IST

Goa has opposed any diversion of waters of the river Mahadayi which originates in the Western Ghats in Karnataka, takes a detour via Maharashtra and enters Goa as the Mandovi

The Goa legislative assembly on Thursday unanimously resolved to “vehemently object” to “any attempt of out-of-basin diversion of water from the Mhadei river-basin”.

The resolution was initially moved by the government as a discussion. (File image)
The resolution was initially moved by the government as a discussion. (File image)

The resolution that was moved by the government, initially as a discussion, said the approvals given to Karnataka “have raised serious apprehension in the minds of Goan people about the very existence of the river Mhadei.”

The assembly also set up a house committee headed by Goa’s water resources minister Subhash Shirodkar that will take up the matter with the central government.

Also Read: Mhadei project: Goa CM calls for revoking K’taka permit

Speaking on the issue, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant assured the House that the government was doing all that was necessary to ensure that “no injustice is done for Goa”.

“We have demanded that the union government immediately constitute the Mahadayi water management authority, which -- as directed by the tribunal in its award -- will be tasked with monitoring the implementation of the award. We have also sought that the authority be headquartered in Goa,” CM Sawant said.

Sawant also pointed to the Goa government’s decision to challenge the tribunal award before the Supreme Court as well as pressing for a stay on the approval given to Karnataka.

The opposition, which had moved amendments to the motion including clauses demanding a time bound withdrawal of the approval given to Karnataka, while supporting the motion questioned the government for its tepid response to the Karnataka decision.

“The union government has weaponised the Mhadei issue and is now using it as a political weapon,” leader of opposition (LoP) Yuri Alemao said pointing to the fact that the approval has been given just prior to the Karnataka polls in what he said was an attempt to “appease the voters of Karnataka” while also pointing to former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s letter written to BS Yeddyurappa back in 2018 promising not to object to Karnataka’s demands for ‘drinking water.’

Goa has opposed any diversion of waters of the river Mahadayi which originates in the Western Ghats in Karnataka, takes a detour via Maharashtra and enters Goa as the Mandovi.

The Mahadayiriver basin drains an area of 2032 sq km, out of which an area of 375 sq km lies in Karnataka, 77 sq km in Maharashtra and rest in Goa.

Both the Goa and Karnataka governments have, for very different reasons, challenged the final award granted by the Mahadayi Interstate Water Disputes Tribunal which in a verdict in August 2018 granted Karnataka a total of 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water out of their demand from their total claims of 36.558 TMC of water.

Goa has approached the Supreme Court arguing that Karnataka shouldn’t be allowed to divert any water owing to the fact that the Mahadayi river is a water deficient river, and that its uninterrupted flow was vital for the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary that is bordering with Karnataka.

On the other hand, Karnataka took up the case in SC arguing that the tribunal erred in granting it only 13.42 tmc of water.

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