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from daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Nov 17: Goa’s fight to save Mhadei river water from being dammed by Karnataka will get an international focus with Mhadei Bachao Andolan planning to seek support from international environmental bodies.

“We will write to the international environmental bodies and funding agencies besides mobilising Goans worldwide to compel the central government from stopping Karnataka from going ahead with the controversial project,” stated Nirmala Sawant, president, Mhadei Bachao Andolan (MBA).

The MBA will also come out with a ‘Goa Declaration on Mhadei/Mandovi’ at a huge rally planned on December 18 in Panaji. “The theme of the rally will be ‘Save Mandovi, Save Goa’ and either Magsasay award winner Mr Rajendra Singh or Mr Chandi Prasad of the Chipko movement will participate in it,” Sawant told reporters here.

Copies of the ‘Goa Declaration’ will be forwarded to various international bodies and funding agencies to draw their attention to the dangers posed to the wild life in the biodiversity hotspot that is the Mhadei valley and the overall ecology of the region, she added.

The MBA has now decided to petition world bodies like the Dams and Development Forum, which will meet shortly under an UN Environmental program. Petitions will also go to the California-based NGO International River Network, World Water Council, Japan Water Forum, World Conservation Forum, etc.

Sawant stated that the MBA will send petitions to various funding agencies in Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Department of International Co-operation, United Kingdom. “As an international issue, our issue has a lot of merit. Let the global community assert itself and pressurise the government of India which is procrastinating of this issue,’’ she said, adding that the MBA wanted to alert them in case they want to give aid to any project connected with the Mhadei diversion.


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