Panaji: Stating that the victory over the Mhadei verdict is distorted by the BJP-led coalition government, the Congress party on Thursday demanded that the government challenge the award given by the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal in the Supreme Court.
“Ministers in the present government vowed not to give even one drop of water to Karnataka, but they have chosen to claim victory despite the fact that Karnataka has been given a share of 13.42 TMC feet of water by the tribunal. How can the government say that the award is a victory for Goa?” queried Congress MLA from Mandrem, Dayanand Sopte while addressing a press conference in Panaji.
He said that despite spending crores of rupees from the state exchequer, the government has failed to protect the interest of the state.
“Mhadei case has been going on for the last 45 years and the Goa government has spent crores of rupees but despite the same, what has the state government achieved from the verdict today? he asked.
Sopte said that the Mhadei issue will remain for generations as the requirement of water will keep increasing with the rising population. He went on to add that accepting the judgment and the celebration by the government is nothing but fooling Goans.
He asked the government not to be content with the tribunal’s order and demanded that they should approach the top court with arguments that this order would have adverse effect on future generations in the state.
Congress spokesperson Yatish Naik said that the tribunal in its verdict has pointed out the Goa government has failed to establish through scientific studies that any diversion of water outside the basin would adversely impact the water resources including groundwater, river morphology, agriculture, irrigation, navigation etc.
“The Mandovi River basin is spread over 1,580 square kilometers and extends to six talukas in Goa — Sattari, Bicholim, Sanguem, Ponda, Tiswadi and Bardez — with over 90 villages falling in the river basin with a cultivable land of 91,072 hectare. The verdict therefore will have far reaching long term impact on the state,” Naik said.
He said that claims of victory in the Mhadei issue made by the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai and Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar is nothing but eyewash. [NT]