Goa rejects State's offer for dialogue on Mahadayi dispute

Goa rejects State's offer for dialogue on Mahadayi dispute

In a setback to State government on the Mahadayi river dispute issue, the Goa government has rejected Karnataka’s offer of holding a dialogue on resolving the imbroglio, while the Centre has said it would be inappropriate for it to intervene when the matter is before the tribunal.

Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, has in a letter dated January 5, informed the State government that it can intervene and hold negotiations only if all the three riparian states – Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra – agree to it.  But the Goa and Maharastra governments have not shown any interest in holding a dialogue, she added.

“During the pendency of any matter before the honourable tribunal, the process of negotiations can be initiated if all parties before the honourable tribunal are willing for the same. However, at present, there is no such proposal from the states of Goa and Maharastra,” the Union minister stated in her reply to Karnataka’s petition seeking the Centre’s intervention.

Besides, Goa Chief Minister Lakshmikant Parsekar, has in a letter dated January 29, said it would not be appropriate to hold a dialogue as the issue is sub judice.  “The people of my state feel it is more prudent to settle the dispute through the tribunal as provided in the ISWD (Inter State Water Disputes) Act, 1956, especially as the case is proceeding at a fast pace in the tribunal and it would not be appropriate to hold a dialogue at this stage when the matter is sub judice,” he stated.

The Goa chief minister has also suggested that all the three states should co-operate with the proceedings of the tribunal and should not hamper regular hearing by introducing interlocutory applications.

“I earnestly hope that you will uphold the belief in the judicial system of the country and bear with us for our decision to wait for the decision of the tribunal,” he added.
Hundreds of farmers in Belagavi, Dharwad, Gadag and Vijayapura districts have been staging protests for over four months demanding the speedy implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri project using the Mahadayi river.  They had been demanding that the State government should make efforts for an early settlement of the inter-state Mahadayi dispute.
DH News Service

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