Goa has been cheated over Mahadayi river issue: Governor
Panaji: Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik has said that the state has been "cheated" on the issue of Mahadayi river and Karnataka's plan to divert its water for irrigation purposes was "unacceptable".
He was talking to a local TV channel here on Thursday.
"It is unacceptable that Karnataka wished to divert the river water for irrigation, when Goa, which is located downstream, needed it," he said.
The two states have been at loggerheads as Karnataka plans to build Kalasa Bhanduri drinking water project over the Mahadayi river, which is considered the lifeline of Goa.
"It is unacceptable when your water is being diverted for irrigation purpose for other people. I feel Goa has been cheated," he said in response to a query.
"Mahadayi issue is about the lifeline of Goa. It is a very important issue. If water is reduced in Mahadayi basin, then the saline water will travel upstream," Malik said.
In October this year, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had written a letter to the Karnataka government saying that its Kalasa Bhanduri project does not require an environmental clearance (EC).
However, on December 18, Javadekar had communicated to Karnataka that his October letter has been kept in abeyance.
On December 24, the minister issued a fresh letter to the southern state, once again making it clear that no EC was required for the Kalsa Bhanduri project.
"My praises are for the opposition here (in Goa) and the government who went in all-party meeting to Javadekar.
Javadekar assured them to solve their problem, but he took time because Karnataka elections (by-elections) were going on," the governor said.
Malik, who had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention on the issue, said, "I met the PM in Delhi and by the time I got back to Goa Niwas, I got a call from Javadekar saying the delay to withdraw the earlier letter was due to the (Karnataka) elections."
"The letter was satisfactory. He had kept his earlier communication in abeyance," he said.
The Kalasa Banduri project is aimed at providing drinking water to three important districts of north Karnataka- Belagavi, Gadag and Dharwad- which go parched in summer due to acute water scarcity.
The project involves diverting water from Mahadayi river into the Malaprabha river.
(Image from scroll.in)