Goa pushes for Mahadayi basin inspection to halt Karnataka water diversion

Goa and Karnataka have locked horns over diversion of Mahadayi river water from Goa to Karnataka.
Mahadayi basin
Mahadayi basin File Photo

BELAGAVI: Under pressure from the Goa government, the Progressive River Authority for Water and Harmony (PRAWAH) has begun the inspection of the Mahadayi river basin in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa — the three stakeholders — from July 4. By getting PRAWAH to inspect the basin, the Goa government is making a desperate and last-ditch attempt to halt Karnataka from diverting the Mahadayi water, informed sources said.

The Goa government wants PRAWAH to take cognisance of how the flora and fauna in the thick forests in the Karnataka-Goa border will be affected if Karnataka diverts the Mahadayi water under various major works to be taken up under the Mahadayi project, sources added. According to sources, officials of the Water Resources Department from all three states are expected to make their submissions before the committee after the inspection. PRAWAH has been appointed by the Union Government to oversee the compliance of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT) and the Supreme Court orders. PRAWAH members are visiting the project sites in response to the appeal made by the Goa government that PM Scott, the outgoing PRAWAH chairman, inspect the site before the end of his term.

“PRAWAH will conduct a detailed site inspection of the Mahadayi basin which will familiarise them with the on ground facts about the extent of work undertaken by the Karnataka government. The inspection is crucial for Goa as it will uncover the truth before the PRAWAH members. This is an outcome of our continuous efforts to protect Mahadayi which will strengthen our case and vindicate our stand,” Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant tweeted.

The Mahadayi river which originates in Kankumbi in Karnataka travels through Maharashtra before entering Goa and emptying into the Arabian Sea. Goa and Karnataka have locked horns over diversion of Mahadayi river water from Goa to Karnataka. Goa has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the order of sharing waters pronounced by MWDT in 2018.

On his ‘X’ handle, Goa CM Sawant put out the itinerary of PRAWAH members during their Karnataka visit which said they will visit the proposed site of the Kalasa project near Surla Nala on the Goa border at 9.30 am on July 7 and also visit the proposed sites of Kalasa and Banduri project located in Karnataka on the border the same day.

Goa Minister Subhash Shirodkar said on Thursday that PRAWAH would visit the sites and dams on the border. “We will show the members how several water sources of Goa, including the famous Surla waterfalls would go dry, if the water is diverted,” he said.

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