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Won’t allow diversion of water from Mhadei river: Goa BJP chief

Panaji, Feb 17 (IANS) State BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade on Monday said the Goa government would not allow Karnataka to divert water from the Mhadei river, until the Supreme Courts adjudicates the issue.

Tanavade was speaking to reporters in Panaji and was asked about allegations levelled by former deputy Chief Minister Sudin Dhavalikar, that Karnataka had already diverted 27 per cent of the water from the inter-state river away from Goa and into the depleted basin of the Malaprabha river.

“Our stand is clear. We will not allow Karnataka to divert any water from the Mhadei river. And right now the matter is in court, which is deciding on the matter,” Tanavade told reporters.

Goa has opposed Karnataka’s controversial Kalasa-Banduri project along the Mhadei river, claiming diversion of water from the Mhadei basin through the canal, would cause “ecological devastation” in the coastal state, where nearly half the population of 1.5 million depends on Mhadei river water.

The Mhadei river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea near Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

An inter-state water disputes tribunal, set up by the Central Government, after hearing the over two-decade-old Mhadei river water sharing dispute among Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, in August 2018 allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka and 1.33 TMC to Maharashtra.

Governments of Goa and Karnataka have challenged several provisions of the award.

–IANS

maya/rt

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