Raising strong objection to Karnataka Chief minister’s remark on Mhadei diversion issue, Goa’s former Water Resources Minister and BJP leader Dayanand Mandrekar on Friday compared the neighbouring state to ‘Duryodhan’, who had refused to give even a tip of land to his brothers.
“When I was a Minister for five years, we fought to protect the Mhadei river. Many people who were concerned about the issue used to meet me. At that time such ‘Dadagiri’ (intimidating behaviour of Karnataka) was not there,” he said during the Goa Legislative Forum meeting over Mhadei.
“I have read statements of the Karnataka Chief Minister in newspapers. We are neighbours. Even if neighbours are bad, we should not become enemies. Because you never know what problem we could face in the future and neighbours could come to your rescue. We should live peacefully with each other,” he further said.
“But the way they (Karnataka leaders) speak it is like Duryodhan of ‘Satyayuga’ who was doing ‘dadagiri’ and determined not to give even a tip of land to others,” he said.
“Karnataka is doing such Dadagiri,” Mandrekar said.
“How this can happen now, we are into democracy. We have all rights. Not only elected representatives, but even the common man has all rights to fight against injustice. This is a serious issue. Natural flow of water can’t be diverted,” he said.
Karnataka, he said, may be a big state in terms of population, but can’t do injustice to Goa. “Here one crore tourists visit every year. From where will we provide them water (if Mhadei water is diverted),” he questioned.
He said that Karnataka has fought for water not only with Goa, but also with Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. “Our wildlife will suffer along with people if water is diverted. The Government should not delay in taking legal recourse. We should protect Mhadei and also take measures to stop rain water flowing to the Arabian sea,” he suggested.
Water level of dams in Goa drops during March and April forcing authorities to pull water from mining pits. “Government should take responsibility to save our natural resources,” he said.