Theweekendleader

Will write to PM over Kalasa-Banduri project: Goa CM

Panaji

28-December-2019

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek his intervention in the escalated dispute between BJP-ruled Goa and Karnataka with regard to the Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project.

Sawant also said, that if need be, the Goa government would appeal against the Union Minister for Environment and Forests which earlier this week once again gave an indirect clearance to the diversion project across the Mhadei river in Karnataka.

"If need to go against MoEF (arises), we are ready to. I am meeting with Advocte General and the Water Resources Department officials today to decide further course of action. We will also write to PM," Sawant told a press conference at the state secretariat.

He also said that there would be no compromise on the Mhadei water dispute issue.

Sawant also dodged a query about Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik comments on Thursday.

Malik had said that Union MoEF Minister Prakash Javadekar's December 24 letter to Kanataka Home Minister Basvaraj Bommai was open to misinterpretation and the current spate of escalation of dispute between the two states over the diversion project was delayed on account of Karnataka elections.

The Goa government has opposed the project claiming diversion of water from the Mhadei basin would cause "ecological devastation" in the coastal state, where nearly half the population of 1.5 million depends on Mhadei river water.

The Mhadei river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea near Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra. An interstate water disputes tribunal, set up by the central government, after hearing the over two-decade-old Mhadei river water sharing dispute among Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, in August 2018 allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka and 1.33 TMC to Maharashtra.IANS