Panaji, Jan 7 (IANS) Goa Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar on Tuesday disallowed a plea moved by 10 opposition legislators, for an adjournment motion to discuss the perils faced by Goa in the face of attempts made by Karnataka to divert the waters of the Mhadei river and the Central Government’s apathy vis a vis the issue.
Soon after the Governor’s address during the one-day session of the state legislative assembly, which had been specially convened for ratification of a central law seeking extension of reservation to ST and SC communities in legislatures, Patnekar gave his ruling on the plea.
In his ruling, Patnekar said, that since assembly had been summoned for a special purpose and the matter raised in the plea for adjournment motion was linked to issues related to the central government, the motion was disallowed. Patnekar also urged the Opposition to make use of other “parliamentary avenues” at their disposal to raise the issue.
After the Speaker’s ruling, the Opposition raised slogans and placards persisting in their demands to discuss the Mhadei issue, before the Speaker called the House to close.
“We want a discussion because Goa has been cheated, the constitutional head of the state himself is saying. We want that this adjournment motion should be taken up,” Goa Forward president and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai told the Speaker, while referring to a recent comment by Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik, who had said Goa was being cheated of water in context of the Mhadei issue.
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat also said, that the matter related to the Mhadei river was of urgent importance, because the river was the lifeline of Goa.
Earlier, in his address to legislators, Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik said that the state government was making efforts to prevent diversion of the Mhadei river outside its basin.
“My government is conscious about Mhadei, an issue which affects every Goan. Mhadei water dispute between Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa is about sharing water of interstate river. Efforts of my government are to prevent water diversion outside the river basin,” Malik said.
The Goa Government has opposed the project claiming diversion of water from the Mhadei basin through the Kalasa-Banduri canal, would cause “ecological devastation” in the coastal state, where nearly half the population of 1.5 million depends on Mhadei river water.