MARGAO: South Goa Member of Parliament Francisco Sardinha on Wednesday said that there is no issue giving Mhadei water for drinking purposes, but Karnataka’s main aim behind diverting water is for steel plants.
Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Sardinha said that if the water is diverted for irrigation purposes, then Goa will suffer.
“We have no problem if the water is taken for drinking purposes. But we can’t allow it for irrigation purposes. Karnataka’s main aim to divert Mhadei water is for steel plants,” Sardinha said.
“If water is diverted then the environment, flora and fauna will be destroyed. There will be scarcity of water in Goa. Nobody knows what will be a picture (without water). The Goa government should look at our interests,” he said.
He said that even the Union Home Minister Amit Shah made a statement over Mhadei diversion.
Amit Shah during a rally in Belagavi on January 28 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 Mhadei to Karnataka to satisfy the thirst of farmers of many districts.”
“One side Maharashtra is taking water and the other side Karnataka is also taking water. But the government is not speaking on this issue,” Sardinha said.
Recently Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said that he will speak to Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with regard to work which has been restarted on the controversial Virdi dam in Sindhudurg district across the Valvanti river.
“Our officers have visited the site of Virdi dam. On our request, Maharashtra has stopped the ongoing work. Maharashtra will also have to take permission from Mhadei Water Management Authority (PRAWAH), before starting the work,” Sawant said.
BJP leaders in Goa have said that in no circumstances would the state government compromise on the Mhadei issue.
Goa and Karnataka are currently battling out a dispute over the Kalasa-Banduri dam project across the water of Mhadei river at a central tribunal.