PANAJI: Karnataka government has written to Union Ministry of Environment and Forest Change (MoEF&CC) that under Section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Act, there is no restriction on them in using its share of water from the Mhadei River.
Karnataka informed Regional Empowered Committee (REC) of the MoEF&CC, that sufficient water is available during monsoon season and the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal Award dated 14.08.2018 has awarded diversion of 1.72 TMC of water for Kalasa Drinking Water project based on Central Water Commission studies
Karnataka called the show cause notice issued by Goa Forest department to them for violation of section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Act as “farfetched and unjust”.
“Regarding the CWLW, Goa’s Notice, Nodal Officer, Karnataka informed that under Section 29 of Wildlife Protection Act, there is no restriction on Karnataka State Government using its share of water within its jurisdiction and the extrapolation of WLPA (wildlife protection act) is farfetched and unjust as if it were to be the legislative intent, no river water project would ever be possible,” Karnataka said.
Karnataka told REC that it’s project is going to operate only during monsoon season i.e., from 1st of June to 31st of October (5 months) and for the rest of the year there will be no pumping.
Karnataka has also said that MoEF&CC in 2019 had informed that Environmental Clearance (EC) is not needed for drinking water projects and had prescribed various conditions from the environmental angle.
Goa’s Chief Wildlife Warden had on January 9 issued a notice under Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 directing the Managing Director of Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd, Bengaluru to stop any activity of diverting/stopping/reducing the flow of the Kalasa Rivulet (nallah) and Bandura Rivulet (nallah) including the construction of any dam, bandhara, canal or any other structure, project, etc, which can be used for such diversion of the flow of water from the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary. Karnataka, however, has not submitted any reply to the Goa government till date.
Meanwhile, Karnataka informed REC that the Kalasa and Bhanduri are two separate schemes, formulated and approved separately. The Central Water Commission (CWC) has cleared both Kalasa and Bhanduri.