Panaji: While Congress is all set to form the government in Karnataka, BJP in Goa has expressed apprehension over the Mhadei river, saying the detailed project report (DPR) of Karnataka approved by the Central Water Commission has posed a threat to the existence of this river.
The state BJP unit in Goa on Thursday held a meeting of the State Executive Committee, wherein the issue of the Mhadei river was discussed.
“The Mhadei River is the lifeline of Goa. The Mhadei plains in Goa comprise an intricate system of wetlands, tidal marshy areas, cultivated paddy fields, and Khazan lands, all intersected by canals, inland dykes, bays, lagoons and creeks,” the saffron party said in a press statement.
“The latest development, wherein the DPR of Karnataka pertaining to Mhadei river has been approved by the Central Water Commission, has posed a threat to the very existence of this river. This State Executive Committee strongly urges the state government to take all necessary steps to safeguard Goa’s lawful rights and interest over the water of Mhadei River and reiterates its unflinching commitment and support to the state government in its fight to save Mhadei River,” it added.
Both the BJP and Congress, in their manifesto for the elections in Karnataka, had promised fulfilment of the Mhadei project to cater to farmers’ needs.
Though BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, had campaigned for party candidates in Karnataka, saffron party leaders from Goa said they would not allow the diversion of the Mhadei river.
Earlier a month ago, Goa BJP President Sadanand Shet Tanavade had said that they would issue a statement even to the Karnataka media that the state government will not compromise on the Mhadei river issue.
Tanavade said this when he was asked about Goa BJP leaders campaigning for Karnataka’s Assembly election.
He added that in no circumstances would the state government compromise on the Mhadei issue.
“The Goa government will not compromise anything on Mhadei; whatever legal battle is to be fought, we will fight it,” Tanavade said.
“Even when we go there if the Karnataka media questions us (Goa BJP leaders) on the Mhadei issue, we will make the statement that the government will not compromise on this issue, we have the guts (to make a statement),” he added.
In January, during a rally in Belagavi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said: “Today, I am here to tell you that the BJP at the Centre has resolved the long dispute between Goa and Karnataka over Mhadei and allowed the diversion of the river to Karnataka to satisfy the thirst of farmers of many districts.”
Goa and Karnataka are currently involved in a dispute over the Kalasa-Bhanduri dam project across the water of the Mhadei river at a central tribunal.