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Cong reiterates spl Goa session demand on river project

Panaji, Oct 25 (IANS) The Congress once again demanded the summoning of a special session of the Goa legislative assembly, to pass a unanimous decision to condemn the Centre’s decision to grant a conditional approval to Karnataka’s controversial Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project on the Mhadei river.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat also said, that Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should lead an all party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appeal for cancellation of the approval.

“The Goa government should immediately call for a special session of the state assembly to discuss the Kalasa-Banduri issue. The Union Ministry for Forests and Environment cannot grant approval for the project, when the case is pending before the Supreme Court,” Kamat said.

“We will pass a unanimous resolution to underline the importance of the issue for Goa. And if need be, the CM should also lead an all party delegation to meet PM Modi and convey to him about the seriousness of the issue,” Kamat said.

Sawant has already demanded, that the MoEF should withdraw the consent given to the Karnataka government, failing which the state government would approach the National Green Tribunal or even knock on the doors of PM Modi seeking his intervention.

The Mhadei, or Mandovi, river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

The Tribunal hearing the over two-decade old dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra over Mhadei river water sharing had, in its award in August 2018, allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) from the Mhadei river basin (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka.

Maharashtra has been allotted 1.33 TMC. Both Karnataka and Goa have publicly expressed reservations about the Tribunal’s award and have also approached the Supreme Court for relief.

–IANS

maya/pgh/

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