Panaji, July 13 (IANS) High litigation fees may result in Goa accepting the Karnataka government’s suggestion to resolve the Mhadei inter-state water dispute through tri-partite dialogue, rather than slugging it out in a central government-appointed tribunal, Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters here, Palienkar said that there was no harm in attending the tri-partite meeting requested for by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday.
“The litigation fees (in the inter-state water dispute tribunal) are very high. Because of the fees, we are considering the Karnataka Chief Minister’s offer of talks,” Palienkar said.
“What is the harm in having a discussion,” Palienkar said, adding that he would speak to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar about the issue.
Goa and Karnataka are currently battling it out over the latter’s controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the waters of the Mhadei river at a central tribunal.
Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of the state. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa.
While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km in length in Goa.
Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in north Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah had written to Parrikar on Wednesday asking him to agree to a joint meeting with their Maharashtra counterpart in order to find an ‘out of court’ and amicable resolution to the Mhadei water dispute issue.