Panaji, Goa will not compromise on the ongoing Mhadei river water sharing row with Karnataka and the state is on the right track, especially with the filing of a contempt petition against the neighbouring state for violation of apex court’s orders, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday.
“There is no compromise. We are strong in that regard. We have taken a stand. We are very much clear. We have filed a contempt petition. We are strong on that and we will follow the matter in the Supreme Court. We are on the right track,” Sawant said.
The Chief Minister was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function organised by a government corporation in Panaji.
The Goa government on Tuesday filed the contempt petition against Karnataka in the apex court alleging that the southern state is illegally diverting water from the Mhadei river basin via the newly constructed Kalasa-Banduri canal, despite a special leave petition filed by the Goa government in the apex court vis a vis the contentious issue.
The SLP, which was filed in July last year, also challenged the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal award in 2018, which allowed Karnataka to divert 13.42 TMC water from the river basin.
The SLP had also said that Karnataka was diverting more water than what was awarded.
Meanwhile, members of a civil society group Progressive Front of Goa were arrested after they staged a protest outside the Chief Minister’s official residence in Panaji, demanding justice to Goa over the Mhadei dispute.
“The Goa government is compromising with Karnataka on the issue. We demand that the Chief Minister face the people of the state and explain the state’s position and why it has lagged when it comes to defending the interests of the state and its people when it comes to the Mhadei river,” Hridaynath Shriodkar of the Front said.
Goa Bharatiya Janata Party president Sadanand Shet Tanavade however told reporters, that allegations that the central National Democratic Alliance government was backing Karnataka over the Mhadei issue was wrong.
“I can tell you, it not true that the central government is supporting Karnataka. The Goa government is doing all it can to protect the state’s interests,” Tanavade said.
Mhadei also known as the Mandovi river in Goa and Mahadayi in Karnataka, is considered as a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa.
It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.
While the river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is over 50 km in length in the state Goa.
Goa and Karnataka are battling out a two decade-long dispute over the sharing of the Mhadei waters.