Mahadayi: Goa says K'taka has resumed canal work

Mahadayi: Goa says K'taka has resumed canal work

Panaji: The dispute over sharing of the Mahadayi river water escalated on Friday with the Goa government accusing Karnataka of resuming construction of a canal on a tributary of the river in "total disregard" for the Supreme Court directives.

The Goa government said that it has photographs to prove its claim that Karnataka has violated the court orders.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar directed state Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma to write   to the Karnataka government, asking it to stop the construction work.

"As directed by the chief minister, Goa chief secretary is writing a letter to the chief secretary of Karnataka to immediately stop the work of bund (canal) at Kalasa tributary. The copy of which would be given to the media tomorrow," a satement from the Chief Minister's Office said.

The Goa government had dispatched a team of officials to the site on Friday morning after a few media reports claimed that the work on the canal has been started by Karnataka.

Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar said the inspection conducted by the team of officials from his department confirmed that Karnataka has resumed the work on constructing the canal on a Mahadayi tributary at Kankumbi.

Kankumbi is a village in Belagavi district of Karnataka near the north-eastern part of the Goa-Karnataka border.

"Karnataka has started the construction of a head regulator and allied work on the Kalasa nallah in total disregard of the orders for the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal and the Supreme Court directives," the minister told reporters here.

"I have photographs to prove the claim that Karnataka has violated the court order," he said.

"The government of Goa is seized with the issue and letters will be sent to Karnataka raising the issue. It will also be taken up with the Mahadayi tribunal," Palyekar added.

The Centre has formed a tribunal to look into the river water sharing issue between Goa and Karnataka.

On Wednesday, Parrikar had said that the ongoing dispute with Karnataka will be fought before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal.

Last month, Parrikar had written to Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa, saying that Goa could share the river water with Karnataka for drinking purposes, and expressed his willingness to hold bilateral talks.

Parrikar's missive had evoked strong criticism from certain quarters. The letter created a controversy as it was addressed to the BJP leader and not to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

The Mahadayi (called Mandovi in Goa) originates in Karnataka and flows to Goa and Maharashtra.

The water sharing issue is politically sensitive one, especially in five north Karnataka districts.

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