PANAJI: Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar today said the judges of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal, hearing an old dispute between Goa and Karnataka over sharing of water, have a "soft corner towards Goa".
The hearing on the issue is reportedly in the final stages.
"I pray to God that we get justice in our fight towards stopping diversion of the Mahadayi river water by Karnataka.
God will give us success in this case because even the judges on the tribunal know what the truth is and they have a soft corner towards Goa," said Palyekar, a leader of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), an ally of the ruling BJP in Goa.
Palyekar was addressing an event to mark the International Water Day, organised here by his department.
"Judges know that Goa and its ecology are entirely dependent on the Mahadayi river (which originates in Karnataka and meets the Arbian Sea in Goa)," he said.
The minister said the next world war would be on the issue of water.
"If you see, fights are going on everywhere on water and tribunals are being set up to resolve them," he said.
The minister, who had opposed Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's move to allow holding of the bilateral talks with Karnataka on the issue, claimed that in the last few days, he must have received maximum curse) from Karnataka.
"I feel that in last few days I have received maximum curses from Karnataka. I don't want to say anything. We have some of the engineers who are originally from Karnataka working in our department," he said.
On the occasion, the minister appealed to the engineers, who hail from Karnataka, "to convince the neighbouring government against diversion of the water".
The issue of sharing the river water between Karnataka and Goa--two out of three riparian states of the Mahadayi, came to the fore again after Parrikar wrote a letter to Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa in December last stating that he would allow sharing of the river water for drinking purposes only.
Maharashtra is the other riparian state.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had dismissed Parrikar's letter as an "electoral gambit" as the southern state is going to polls this year.
Goa has been accusing Karnataka of trying to divert the river water for the purpose of irrigation.