PANAJI: Chief MInister Dr Pramod Sawant said that his Government will leave no stone unturned to see that Mhadei is protected.
“When my Government took over, one of the major issues was the Mhadei Water Dispute. We were faced with the Award of the Tribunal, permitting diversion of 3.9 tmc of water outside the basin. I took immediate steps to challenge the Award, in the supreme Court. As of today, we have favourable orders from the Supreme Court, stopping Karnataka from carrying out any further work/diversion unless permissions under the environmental laws are obtained,” he said.
He said his govt has effectively stopped any further construction/diversion of the Mhadei waters.
“My Government is closely monitoring the activities of Karnataka and issues pending before the various Central Govt. authorities. We have made a strong case before the Regionally Empowered Committee (Forest) in Bangalore and in New Delhi; to not grant any Forest Clearance. The Chief Wildlife warden-Goa has issued notice and ordered stopping all activities of Karnataka. All party delegation met the Union Ministers in New Delhi and made a strong case for the protection of Mhadei. A house-committee has also been constituted. Help of experts in the field of Environment, Forests and Hydrology is being obtained. All the departments of the Government are acting in a synchronised manner.
We are confident that we shall be able to take all steps to ensure that no damage/diversion takes place,” he said. Sawant said he was successful in agitating the State case for Mahadayi Water Management Authority (PRAWAH) which will help us to stop any illegal diversion by Karnataka.
In the meanwhile, we are also exploring and coming out with appropriate plans for utilisation of waters from Mhadei Basin for the benefit of the people.
“We have projects which are planned and will be taken up upon following the legal procedure. Our projects will be in accordance with the provisions of the environmental laws. Such projects will be taken up in consonance with our case relating to Mhadei Dispute,” he stated.
Three new projects have been proposed by the Government in the Mhadei Basin at Nirankal, Cajumol and Tatodi having an average storage capacity of 11.21 MCM, 4 MCM and 5.7 MCM respectively. These projects will go a long way in improving the irrigation and drinking water network in Goa.
“We are committed to the cause of Mhadei and shall not leave any stone unturned in our Mission Mhadei,” he said.