Millennium Post

Goa will be a desert if govt fails to act on Mhadei: Kamat

Panaji: Goa will transform into a desert if the state government does not act "sensibly and quickly" in the ongoing inter-state dispute with Karnataka over the water of the Mhadei river, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said on Thursday.

Kamat also said Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should reconsider and roll-back his decision to not present a white paper to the state on the actions taken by the BJP-led coalition government on the contentious Mhadei issue.

"The 'dry days' in Goa have already begun with reports of water from Mhadei basin already diverted by Karnataka. The entire state will transform into 'desert' if we don't act sensibly and quickly," Kamat told reporters here.

"The white paper on Mhadei will bring out all facts and figures. Let people know from documents 'Who did What, When and Why' for our lifeline 'Mother Mhadei'. Hope the Chief Minister will roll back his statement and accept our demand to come out with a white paper," Kamat also said.

The war of words between Sawant and the Opposition heated up last week, after the Supreme Court allowed notification of the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal award given in 2018, on a request made by the Karnataka government.

While Karnataka had claimed that the apex court's nod for notification of the award was a major victory towards its efforts to divert water from the Mhadei river through its controversial Kalasa-Banduri dam project, the Goa government, as well as the state BJP on the other hand has insisted that the nod is merely technical in nature.

The Opposition in Goa has jointly alleged that the state government "did not even oppose" Karnataka counsel's plea for notification of the award and has demanded a white paper from Sawant, with all actions taken by his government to safeguard Goa's interest in the ongoing dispute.

Sawant on Wednesday has rejected the Opposition's demand for a white paper, saying his government was doing everything possible to ensure that Goa came up trumps in the inter-state water battle.

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