Governor of Goa Satya Pal Malik on Sunday refuted the statement published in an English daily in the name of Raj Bhavan regarding the Mhadei river issue. In a press note, the Goa Raj Bhavan said, "The statement of the Governor of Goa, with regard to the issue of Mhadei river, which appeared in an English newspaper on Saturday that "Goa has been cheated", has been wrongly quoted and published. The Raj Bhavan Office strongly refutes the statement published in the newspaper."
"As far as Mhadei issue is concerned, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, Governor of Goa Satya Pal Malik, and Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant are on the same page and there is no divergence of understanding and views on the matter," the press note added. The Governor had earlier emphasised the importance of Mhadei water to the state of Goa and stated that it was the lifeline of the people of Goa.
Congress workers had earlier staged a protest in Goa after Javdekar granted consent to Karnataka's Kalasa-Bhandura project, which is undertaken by the Karnataka government aims to improve drinking water supply to the Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag districts. The sharing of the waters of the Mhadei river has been the cause of a dispute between the governments of Karnataka and Goa for over two decades.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek his intervention in the escalated dispute between BJP-ruled Goa and Karnataka with regard to the Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project. Sawant also said, that if need be, the Goa government would appeal against the Union Minister for Environment and Forests which earlier this week once again gave an indirect clearance to the diversion project across the Mhadei river in Karnataka.
The Mhadei river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea near Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra. An interstate 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.
(With agency inputs)