Local Goa News

Friday, July 15, 2016

Karnataka has destroyed Western Ghats ecological balance: Goa

Blames neighbouring State for violating laws and environmental destruction with construction on Mhadei

PANJIM: Blaming Karnataka for the total mismanagement of its water resources, Goa has said that the neighbouring State has committed massive environmental destruction by the construction of the Mhadei dam.

“Karnataka has carried out massive violation of all possible laws including Environment Protection Act, Wildlife Protection Act, Biodiversity Act, Constitutional Principles dealing with any projects on inter-state river wherein Supreme Court has held that this cannot be done unless the Planning Commission and the Central Government approves of the same including the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change,” Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni said in his submission before the Mhadei tribunal.
Further, he said, “Despite all these laws in place, Karnataka in rank defiance of all these laws has gone ahead and made massive constructions in the Western Ghats completely destroying the ecological balance. The IA (interlocutory application) filed by Karnataka is not maintainable under Section 5(2) of the Inter State River Disputes Act,” Goa’s submission says.
It states that relief as prayed for by Karnataka can never be granted. “In the IA grounds for claiming the interim relief are alleged drought and reduced rain fall. Whereas, in the present written submissions filed yesterday, which are unsigned, containing factual averments without any statements on oath, virtually changes the case to that of reduction of normal inflow in Malaprabha reservoir,” Nadkarni says in the submission, adding the prayer now made also has nothing to do with rainfall.
He has contended that the IA does not make out any prima facie case nor irreparable loss or balance of convenience. “The ground raised in the written submission based on lack of normal inflow in the Malaprabha reservoir is in itself a ground which is beyond the jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Tribunal and therefore cannot be considered as is detailed hereinafter,” the submission states.
Further, he says, Karnataka’s submission that this is an emergent application made for emergent circumstances is in itself disputed as there are no circumstances, which were existing, or which are existing, nor whispered in the IA or rejoinder.
“It is imperative in the backdrop of the fact that the Mahadayi river admittedly is a monsoon flowing river and Karnataka is praying to divert the waters during the four months of monsoon, which certainly would have adverse impact on the natural flow regime of the river itself,” he says.
The submission says Karnataka has neither stated or whispered or mentioned leave aside pleading, any matter as regards the natural flow regime, morphological changes, the effect on the river system, eco system, the changes in the magnitude of discharge etc and without any proper study or without understanding the imperative disastrous consequences simply in over enthusiasm filed the present application in the midst of evidence only for the purpose of either protracting the final adjudication or to pleas the persons agitating in the State.
Further, the submission blames Karnataka for mismanagement of water resources stating, “There was no management of water resources nor any regulatory control even in the areas which received less rainfall is clear from the fact that the multinational unit of Pepsico was given 4 lakh litres of water per day.”
“Such a ground therefore can never be available either in law or in fact to draw water from an altogether different basin on the strength of over exaggerated, miscalculated, overestimated claims,” the submission says.
Nadkarni also says that Karnataka is trying to confuse the issue, by bringing in irrigation in Malaprabha command area.


Effect on Goa if trans-basin diversion is permitted

The Goa submission in the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal states that if the position is such that on account of less rainfall, the level of water in the Mhadei is depleted and consequently affects the drinking water schemes in Goa, apart from other scarcity for irrigation, then one wonders as to how the same ground of less rainfall in Malaprabha basin can be a ground for pumping out water from Mhadei basin which itself had less rainfall.
It points out that two dams – Anjunem and Amthane – which used to fill up by the first or second week of August did not fill up this year and that out of 18 bandharas, 16 bandharas as on May 24, 2016 were completely empty. It states that the so-called unforeseen and emergent situation which is claimed, itself is a complete falsehood. An event of drought is never unforeseen. Depending on the receipt of the rainfall or precipitation, the availability of water in the summer can be judged therefore drought is never an unforeseen event.

Herald Goa News

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