Goa Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution objecting Mhadei diversions and requesting Centre to withdraw approval to DPR and constitute the Mhadei Water Management Authority.
The resolution will be sent to the Centre with a request to act on the same at the earliest. All opposition MLAs repeatedly demanded that Chief Minister should specify the timeframe for the withdrawal of approval for DPR.
However, replying to their demands, the CM refused to give any commitment as regards timeframe by which DPR would be withdrawn. “I can’t give a specific timeframe for DPR approval withdrawal but it will be done at the earliest,” he said.
While speaking on the resolution, the CM admitted that Karnataka has already diverted water at Haltara and Kalasa rivulets. He said that the state government has strongly objected to any diversion of water from the Mhadei basin into Karnataka.
He further said that in order to utilise water from the Mhadei river, construction of six dams is in pipeline. CM appealed to the opposition to come together unitedly, keeping aside political differences to fight for the existence of Mhadei.
ISSUE DISCUSSED AT LENGTH
The House discussed the Mhadei issue as a matter of urgent public importance. “This House vehemently objects to any attempt of out-of-basin diversion of water from the Mhadayi/Mhadei river-basin.
The reports of DPR of the State of Karnataka being approved by Central Water Commission have raised serious apprehension in the minds of Goan people about the very existence of the river Mhadei,” stated the resolution moved by MLA Aleixo Sequeira.
OPPOSITION SEEKS TIMEFRAME
Opposition leader Yuri Alemao alleged that it looks as though the sole objective of approval of DPR was appeasement of the voters of Karnataka in view of the ensuing Karnataka elections.
He asked the CM to give a time frame within which the issue would be resolved. Congress MLA Carlos Alvares Ferreira called for the need to stand in unison over the Mhadei issue instead of indulging in political blame games.
RGP's VIRESH MARSHALLED OUT
RGP MLA Viresh Borkar rushed to the well of the House after his mike was muted while he was trying to read a letter sent by his party to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was marshalled out of the House.
VENZY FOR MHADEI TIGER RESERVE
AAP MLA Venzy Viegas demanded notifying forested areas of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary excluding human settlement, agriculture and horticulture areas as Mhadei Tiger Reserve to make Goa’s case strong. He also called for research by scientists on the impact of the diversion of the river.
BUILD 59 CHECK DAMS: VIJAI
Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardesai and Quepem MLA Alton D’Costa suggested construction of 59 check dams and bandharas in Goa within 6 months.
CREATE CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS: CONG
Congress MLAs demanded that the government should ask the Centre to stop giving any more approvals to the project, start work of bandharas on river Mhadei, declare the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve and that all 40 MLAs should resign and create a constitutional crisis if the Centre refuses to withdraw the DPR within 15 days.
HOUSE COMMITTEE FORMED
The Assembly constituted a House Committee under WRD minister Subhash Shirodkar to study and follow up on various aspects of the Mhadei diversion issue. Following are the members: Carlos Alvares Ferreira, Vijai Sardesai, Venzy Viegas, Viresh Borkar, Dr Chandrakant Shetye, Aleixo Reginaldo, Dr Divya Rane, Dr Ganesh Gaonkar, Premendra Shet, Jeet Arolkar and Michael Lobo.