Mhadei dispute: Karnataka CM writes to Goa counterpart

Panaji, Sep 6 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah on Tuesday wrote to his Goa counterpart Laxmikant Parsekar suggesting they meet later this month on the Mhadei water dispute issue.

In a letter addressed to Parsekar, Siddharamaiah offered to hold the first round of the parleys in his state so as to work towards an amicable out-of-court settlement to the inter-state dispute.

He urged Parsekar to instruct the Goa Chief Secretary to work out the logistics for the meeting between the two top political executives, following oral instructions by the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal earlier this month, to try and resolve the water dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

“… on behalf of the riparian state of Karnataka, it would be my pleasure to host the first round of talks. I sincerely hope that you will, in the true spirit of co-operation and collaboration, agree to your state’s participation in the talks,” Siddharamaiah said in the letter.

“The three states are committed to the talks and negotiations in exploring an amicable situation to the pending water dispute — without prejudice to their respective cases before the Tribunal on merits,” the Karnataka Chief Minister said.

Rescinding his statement last month that Goa was against an out-of-court settlement, Parsekar this week said Goa was open to talks with Karnataka.

Goa and Karnataka are currently involved in a dispute before a central tribunal over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across Mhadei river.

Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of the state. It originates in Karnataka and flows into the Arabian Sea at Panaji 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.

The tribunal has already ordered an interim stay on the construction work by Karnataka in the Mhadei basin.



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