Panaji, March 8 (IANS) On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Goa Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat on Sunday urged Goans to pledge to protect the river Mhadei, “our mother”, amid the ongoing interstate water sharing dispute between Goa and Karnataka.
“River Mhadei is the lifeline for every Goan and it is the duty of each one of us to take a pledge on this Women’s Day to protect our Mother. Let us all unite to stop any attempt by anyone to take away River Mhadei from us,” Kamat said in his message on International Women’s Day, which is celebrated globally on March 8.
“Woman is a creator and River Mhadei is a creator as well. The nature of Goa exists only because of Mother Mhadei. Women power has always emerged victorious in times of grave crisis and I appeal to all the women to come forward to preserve and save the identity of Goa,” Kamat, a former Chief Minister also said.
Kamat’s message comes at a time of growing discord between Karnataka and Goa over the sharing of the waters of the Mhadei, an inter-state river.
The Opposition, led by Kamat, has also accused Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and the BJP, of trying to sabotage Goa’s chances in the running feud with Karnataka over the construction of the Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project across the river in the Southern state.
An interstate water dispute Tribunal after hearing the over the two-decade-old Mhadei river water sharing dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, in August 2018 had 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.
Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have challenged several provisions of the award.
Goa has claimed that construction of the Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project, across the river, to divert water from the Mhadei basin to the basin of the Malaprabha river in Karnataka, would cause “ecological devastation” in Goa.