Goa will win Mhadei battle against Karnataka: CM Sawant

Panaji, Jan 10 (IANS): Rejecting allegations that his government is doing nothing to save Mhadei river, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has expressed hope that the state will win the legal battle in the Supreme Court against Karnataka.

"Mhadei water issue is in the hearts of everyone. We are fighting this case in Supreme Court. We will not lose, but will win this case. Day-to-day basis I am taking a follow-up of the case," Sawant said on Tuesday, during a government program here.

Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao, who was also present on the occasion, had criticised the BJP government while addressing the event.

"Threat to our lifeline Mhadei is still unresolved and appears to be more critical in 2024. Insecurity is mounting. None is sure of the outcome. Assurances from the government seem to be mechanical. They fail to boost the confidence of the people," Alemao said.

Last month after Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reportedly seeking environmental clearance for the Mhadei project, Alemao had asked the BJP government to make its political stand clear on the matter.

"Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah gets an appointment and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding environmental clearance for the Mhadei project. Will the Chief Minister of Goa continue to be a silent spectator and allow environmental clearance to be given? I urge Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to make the BJP government's stand clear," the Goa Opposition leader had said.

Opposition parties in Goa, including Congress, have been targetting the BJP government since Union Home Minister Amit Shah made a statement favouring Karnataka during the Assembly election in the southern state.

In January this year, during an election rally in Karnataka's Belagavi, Shah had said: "Today, I am here to tell you that the BJP at the Centre has resolved the long-standing dispute between Goa and Karnataka over Mhadei river and allowed the diversion of the river to Karnataka to satisfy the thirst of farmers of many districts."

However, after Karnataka's Assembly elections were won by Congress, the BJP government in Goa expressed apprehension over the Mhadei river, saying the detailed project report of Karnataka approved by the Central Water Commission has posed a threat to the existence of this river.




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