April 26, 2018

Siddaramaiah Calls Meet With Goa, Maharashtra Chief Ministers Over Water Dispute

25 December 2017, 02:12 | Rufus Hill

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. DH file

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. DH file

Besides Karnataka and Goa, Maharashtra is also a riparian state sharing the Mahadayi river waters.

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee today strongly objected to the Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar writing to BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa expressing his intent to resolve the Mahadayi water sharing dispute through an amicable settlement. "The Chief Minister is resorting to such tactics to scare people, who speak against his government or jihadi activities in the state".

The Congress has now accused Parrikar and BJP of letting down Goa's interests. Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa should meet at Bangalore on any convenient date in June 2017.

While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it runs through a length of 81.2 km in Goa.

Addressing a presspersons along with Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar and MP for Dharwad Pralhad Joshi here on Saturday, Mr. Yeddyurappa claimed that the letter could be used to claim water even though it was addressed to him, if the Chief Minister placed it before the tribunal.

Water wars between states are not new.

Governments across party lines, over the last decade and more have stated as a matter of policy, that diversion of the Mhadei or the Mandovi river would sound a death knell to the northern areas of the State, which are dependent on the river for fishing, irrigation and potable water supply.

"The letter is not under any political pressure". He challenged Yeddyurappa to convince Parrikar to send an affidavit to the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal on its willingness to release water, adding that the letter of assurance from Goa should reach the tribunal immediately as the hearing was in the final stage. "BJP Goa is negligible in front of North Karnataka, we have only two MPs", Sakhardande said. "BJP leaders from Goa like Parrikarji are also expected to join the election campaign there and the promise of diversion of drinking water will be an attractive poll promise", a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

But Parrikar's offer has not satisfied allies in the BJP-led coalition Government, especially the Goa Forward, whose Vinod Palienkar heads the Water Resources ministry. BJP sources said that the party was looking to leverage the Mhadei issue in north Karnataka constituencies, especially in districts like Belgaum, Bagalkot, etc.

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