‘Mhadei water diversion would hit drinking water, tourism, environment of Goa’

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Panaji, Aug 2 (IANS) Diversion of water from the Mhadei river will severely hit drinking water supply, irrigation, navigation, tourism, ecology and environment in Goa, Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar told the Goa Assembly on Thursday.

Palienkar made the statement in response to a question from Congress MLA Ravi Naik in the Assembly.

In reply to an earlier question during the ongoing monsoon session, Palienkar had ruled out any negotiation on Mhadei river water-sharing with Karnataka, even as he had accused Karnataka of already diverting the river water to the depleted Malaprabha river basin through underground channels.

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently battling a dispute over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the waters of the Mhadei river.

Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa.

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It originates in Karnataka, meeting the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through the territory of Maharashtra.

Karnataka also aims to build seven dams at various points along the river, including at Kalsa village, for diverting the flow into what it claims is the water-starved Malaprabha basin in north Karnataka.

–IANS

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