PANAJI: Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today said he would meet his Maharashtra and Karnataka counterparts on the issue of Mahadeyi river water diversion, notwithstanding reservations voiced by opposition parties in Goa.
"I will be attending the meeting with Chief Ministers from Maharashtra and Karnataka on Mahadeyi water diversion issue. It is not proper to refuse the tribunal's (Mahadeyi Water Dispute Tribunal) suggestion that we (all three CMs) should meet and try to find an amicable solution," Parsekar said. He was speaking to reporters after chairing an all-party meet called by the state government on the issue at the Secretariat this afternoon.
The meet was attended by all parties, including BJP, MGP, Congress, NCP, Goa Forward and others, besides Union AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik, Member of Parliament (South) Narendra Sawaikar and representatives of Mahadeyi Bachao Abhiyan. During the meeting, the opposition parties expressed apprehension over Parsekar attending the CMs' meet.
"All the participants in the meeting were unanimous that we should not waste time in discussion with neighbouring states as it will affect the pace of the case," Parsekar said. "But it is not fair that I refuse to meet the chief ministers of the states of our own country," he reasoned. Goa is currently embroiled in a dispute with Maharashtra and Karnataka over diversion of Mahadeyi river water. The case is pending before Mahadeyi Water Dispute Tribunal.
"Whenever it is called for, I will attend the meeting to respect sentiments of the tribunal, but I will ensure that the interest of the state (Goa) will not be compromised at any cost," the chief minister said. Asked if Goa is looking for an amicable solution to the issue, Parsekar refused to comment. "I have said what I want to say," he said, before walking off.