Don't politicise Mhadei issue says CM

Gomantak Times
Sunday, 1 March 2020

"We will not allow Karnataka to divert water outside Mhadei basin,"

Pramod Sawant,

Chief Minister

PANAJI: Reiterating that Goa will not allow Karnataka to divert Mhadei water, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that the Goa will strongly demand before the Supreme Court for a joint inspection of the Kalasa-Bhandura project so as to find out the illegalities done by the Karnataka government.

Goa will also appeal to the apex court to restrain the Karnataka from carrying out any construction activity after the Centre notified the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal award. He said that the joint inspection be conducted by the chief engineer of Central Water Commission or by the assessor from the Hadei water Disputes Tribunal.

The special petition filed by the Goa government will come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Monday, March 2.

Speaking to media persons informally, Sawant said that Goa in its plea before the Supreme Court has prayed that the Karnataka government be restrained from taking any steps and/or from carrying out any activity in the Kalasa-Bhandura project following notification of the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal's verdict dated August 14, 2018.

The Chief Minister said that the interim order dated April 17, 2014 passed by the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal, Delhi asking Karnataka to stop its work was still in force and it would be revoked only after Karnataka fulfil four of the conditions. These conditions were that Karnataka should prepare a detailed project report (DPR) and get it approved by the Centre and also should obtain all the necessary permissions such as forest, wildlife, pollution control board and environmental clearance (EC).

Sawant alleged that in the guise of drinking water, the Karnataka was trying to divert Mhadei water for irrigation purpose. Karnataka government's statement that notification of the Tribunal's award was a victory for farmers shows that they want to divert Mhadei water for irrigation purpose. "We will not allow Karnataka to divert water outside Mhadei basin," he said.

The chief minister also appealed to all political parties not to politicise the issue and to cooperate with the State government to save Mhadei river. Sawant also gave details of the measures taken by every successive government since Karnataka had unilaterely started construction work in 2002 after obtaining in-principle approval from the Government of India. Advocate General Devidas Pangam and water resources chief engineer Patil were also present.

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