Local Goa News

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Battle for Mhadei river water at crucial stage

SANKHALI: The crucial final round of hearing by the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal on the contentious issue will begin on Monday.
The hearing is very crucial for Goa as the river is lifeline of the state and any diversion of the river water will be detrimental to Goa’s water needs during non-monsoon months.

After hearing arguments from Karnataka’s counsel Fali Nariman, the tribunal had called upon Goa’s counsel Atmaram Nadkarni, who is also additional solicitor general of India, to justify the opposition to release of 7 TMC of water to that state.
Nariman had argued that available yield is 108 TMC and Goa’s water requirements are 9.335 TMC.
It remains to be seen what decision the tribunal will take after the hearing.
It must be noted here that a tributary of Malaprabha river has catchment area of 5048 sq km, with 138-km length longer than Mhadei river. The water from this tributary is used to the extent of 1.5 TMC and holds unused water running into several TMCs.
Environmentalists in the state are questioning as to why Karnataka has not tapped water of this tributary instead of eyeing Goa’s lifeline?
Why doesn’t Karnataka utilise 22 rivers of Belagavi district to supply drinking water to Hubballi-Dharwad,? they asked.
A report prepared by Sudheer Sajjan, assistant engineer of Karnataka WRD, was submitted to Karnataka WRD Minister M B Patil and RDA Minister H K Patil.
“What has become of this report?… It is obvious that Karnataka‘s conduct and intents are a suspect,” Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal said.
Meanwhile, state WRD Minister Dayanand Mandrekar has slammed Shiv Sena leader Sudeep Tamhankar for criticizing Goa’s legal team on the Mhadei dispute for charging huge fees.
“All political leaders should be united on the Mhadai issue as it is the lifeline of Goa and its protection is our duty… but Tamhankar is playing dirty politics… This is not the way to deal with the issue,” Mandrekar said.

NT Network Goa News

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