The Goa government will file an interim application before the Supreme Court in the next week seeking a stay on the approval granted by the Central Water Commission (CWC) to the Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted by Karnataka for the diversion of river Mhadei through Kalsa-Bhandura project, informed Advocate General Devidas Pangam.
The interim relief application will seek granting of stay on any construction that may be intended to be carried out by Karnataka, he added. The major ground on which Goa will challenge the approval is that under Section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Act, there is a complete embargo on diversion of water in the wildlife sanctuary for any purpose other than wildlife.
In addition, the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal has itself directed that all the permissions including the one from Chief Wildlife Warden are required before carrying out any work in the Mhadei basin. These are very strong grounds in our favour, said the AG.
Notwithstanding the fact of any permissions from the Centre, diversion of water cannot be carried out from Mhadei basin more specifically in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, he asserted. The AG also said the state govt will approach all central agencies, including the CWC, and bring to their notice that Mhadei water diversion is not possible in law.
The DPR approval which came at the fag end of 2022 has been termed as controversial by environmentalists in the State and has come as a setback to Goa's fight for the waters of the Mhadei. Also, the approval in the