Panaji, Sep 10 (IANS) While Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Tuesday he was scheduled to meet Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in a few days for a negotiated settlement over the Mhadei river water sharing issue, the Congress again warned the BJP-led coalition government in Goa against any such talks.
“The Chief Minister should not take false courage of fishing in troubled waters. These are all backdoor machinations to sacrifice Goa’s interests at the altar of Karnataka,” Congress spokesperson Trajano D’Mello said. here on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Yediyurappa said in Bengaluru he had sought an appointment with Sawant to discuss the Mhadei issue and could visit Goa on September 16 or 17 to hold talks.
On Monday, Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Venkatesh Joshi had said in Goa, the Chief Ministers of both states should discuss and negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement rather than depending upon the Mhadei inter-state water dispute tribunal or a Supreme Court order.
“I can only suggest at this moment, that the Chief Ministers can sit and talk to try resolve the issue. The matter has been to the tribunal and it has given its award. But a negotiated settlement will be a better settlement,” Joshi said.
Joshi also met Sawant later and urged him to meet Yediyurappaa.
The Mhadei, or Mandovi, river is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea near Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.
The tribunal after hearing the over two-decade-old dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra in August 2018 allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) from the Mhadei river basin (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka. Maharashtra has been allotted 1.33 TMC.
Both Karnataka and Goa have publicly expressed reservations over the tribunal’s award and have approached the Supreme Court for relief.
The Goa government in a petition to the court has also accused Karnataka of “illegally” building infrastructure in its jurisdiction, to divert additional water from the Mhadei river basin.