Mahadayi inspection will expose Karnataka: Goa CM Pramod Sawant

Sawant said his government would put the facts of water diversion with proof before the Supreme Court as the matter was listed for August.
Sawant welcomed the PRAWAH inspection during monsoon stating that it was the right time to understand the flow and diversion of water.
Sawant welcomed the PRAWAH inspection during monsoon stating that it was the right time to understand the flow and diversion of water.Photo | Express

BELAGAVI: While the Progressive River Authority for Water and Harmony (PRAWAH) of the Union Government is set to inspect the project sites of Kalasa-Banduri on July 7 at Kankumbi, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant issued a strong statement on Friday claiming that the inspection will expose the illegal diversion of water to Malaprabha basin and the wrongdoings of Karnataka government with regard to Mahadayi project.

Sawant welcomed the PRAWAH inspection during monsoon stating that it was the right time to understand the flow and diversion of water (at Kalasa Banduri project sites).

Speaking to a section of media in Panaji on Friday, Sawant said, “Let Karnataka approach the PM for the project clearance. We (Goa) have already made a case before the Prime Minister, highlighting the importance of the Mahadayi river to Goa.’’

Sawant said his government would put the facts of water diversion with proof before the Supreme Court as the matter was listed for August.

Meanwhile, several organisations in Belagavi have questioned the need for the inspection of PRAWAH at a time when Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT) has already pronounced its award and the Supreme Court subsequently issued orders for sharing of water as per the tribunal’s order.

As to why the Goa government is keen on getting PRAWAH to visit the project sites on the border is that it is under the impression that the State Government is taking up various works under the Mahadayi project in violation of the tribunal’s orders, said Ashok Chandargi, chairman, Kannada Organisations Action Committee.

He said that the Karnataka government is waiting for environment and wildlife permission to go ahead with the Kalasa-Banduri project. “When that was the fact, the State Government should have prevented the visit of PRAWAH to the project sites. Goa feels it could halt Karnataka from diverting the Mahadayi water by showing PRAWAH to take note of the works, which it claimed were taken up at the Kalasa-Banduri project sites, illegally by Karnataka,” he said.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar and officials concerned should bring the actual state of things with regard to the Mahadayi project to the notice of PRAWAH when the latter holds a meeting in Bengaluru on July 8, Chandargi said.

The Kannada organisations have alleged that the Goa government was trying to put pressure on various departments at the Centre in an attempt to prevent the implementation of Mahadayi project. For the past six years, Goa has been objecting to the project even as the MWDT has awarded 13 tmcft share of water to Karnataka, the organisations added.

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