BELAGAVI: Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi on Monday refuted Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s allegations that Karnataka diverted waters of Mahadayi river illegally. He even offered to resign if the allegations were proven true.Jarkiholi said he will ask Sawant to visit Mahadayi project to see how the Karnataka government had built a wall to prevent the diversion of water from the river. He said Sawant’s statement was a political gimmick and that the coastal state was doing politics in the name of the inter-state water project.
Remarking that the Goa CM may have made allegations under political pressure, Jarkiholi said the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal had given its nod to the project but its implementation could not be commenced due to Covid-19 pandemic.Jarkiholi said the Karnataka government had adhered to all rules and guidelines.
Asked how Karnataka would get wildlife and environmental clearances for the Mahadayi project when its other stakeholders -- Goa and Maharashtra -- had moved the Supreme Court against the tribunal’s order, Jarkiholi said he would not like to elaborate as the code of conduct had come into force ahead of the Gram Panchayat elections. But he expressed confidence that the Karnataka government would get all the needed permissions and that there was no need for the CMs of both the states to sit across the table to find a solution.
Some environmentalists have raised concerns about the possible destruction of forest and ecology if the Mahadayi project is implemented. But the state government is confident that it will be able to implement the project without causing any damage to the environment and wildlife.