PANAJI: Goa on Thursday formed a special team to monitor whether Karnataka or Maharashtra were continuing to build and operate canals along the Mahadayi basin for diverting its waters.
An order issued by Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar has asked four officials to visit the sites in the neighbouring states at least twice a week.
Mahadayi, also known as the Mandovi river, is considered the lifeline of North Goa. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.
The river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka, and over 50 km in Goa.
"As directed by government, a team of engineers is hereby constituted to constantly watch over and monitor periodically, any work, if carried out on the Mahadayi river or its tributaries in Maharashtra as well as Karnataka," the order reads.
The team comprises of two engineers, surveyor and a technical assistant, who have been instructed to "instantly report if any construction activity is envisaged or started by Karnataka or Maharashtra in the Mahadayi basin".
"A periodic report every fort-night should be submitted to the government. The team shall normally visit the sites at least two times every week," the order signed by the department's Chief Engineer ST Nadkarni also states.
Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, the state transport corporation suspended all bus services to Karnataka, in the wake of the strike there by farmers, pro-Kannada organisations and regional outfits, protesting the central government's apathy towards the Mahadayi interstate water sharing dispute.
Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently involved in a dispute in the tribunal over controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across Mahadayi river, through which Karnataka aims to divert water from the Mahadayi basin to nearby basin on the Malaprabha river.