PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday held a press conference pertaining to the ongoing Mahadayi river water sharing issue and said, "If required, we will also go against the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change."
"The case regarding Mahadayi river water diversion is pending before the Supreme Court. I would like to categorically state that Goans need not be worried. If required, we will also go against the union minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change," he said while speaking to media in Panaji on Friday.
The Goa government is facing criticism from the people of the state after Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on December 24 wrote a letter to Karnataka informing that Environment clearance was not required for the Kalsa Bhanduri project on the Mahadayi river.
Referring to the statement by the Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat asking for a one-day assembly session on the issue to be held, Sawant said that "those who allowed the water to be diverted, have no moral grounds to tell the government how to act on the issue."
He also alleged that during the tenure of Digambar Kamat (2007-2012), Karnataka managed to divert Mahadayi river water, while he did nothing to stop them.
The Chief Minister also stated that the Goa government has got approval for the construction of six dams on the Mahadayi river in its basin. "We would be utilising the water for our purpose and the work on these dams would be expedited," he said.
Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra have conflicting interests on the issue of sharing Mahadayi river water. While the river originates in Karnataka, a major part of it flows in Goa and briefly in Maharashtra.
The Karnataka government has sought the release of 7.56 TMC feet water from the Mahadayi river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
The Kalasa-Banduri Nala diversion project is being undertaken by Karnataka to improve drinking water supply in Hubballi-Dharwad and the districts of Belagavi and Gadag.