Goa minister apologises for remark on Mhadei Tribunal judges

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Panaji, March 24 (IANS) Goa’s Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar on Saturday apologised for his comment that the retired judges on the Mhadei interstate Water Disputes Tribunal had a “soft corner” for the state.

“I have only spoken about the good of Goa, but still irrespective, if the Karnataka government believes, it is improper, then I apologise to the judiciary,” he told reporters here.

On Thursday, while speaking at a function organised by the Water Resources Department, Palienkar had said: “May God give us success in this case. The judges also know what the matter is about and they have a soft corner for Goa. We are dependent on the Mhadei river, not just us but also wildlife.”

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently involved in a dispute over controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across Mhadei river, through which Karnataka aims to divert water from the Mhadei basin to nearby basin on the Malaprabha river. The issue is before the Tribunal, which is expected to deliver a verdict in a few months.

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

The river course is 28.8 km in Karnataka, and over 50 km in Goa.

–IANS

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