Mahadayi: Goa Oppn up in arms over Javadekar’s letter

Last Updated 25 December 2019, 18:50 IST

The letter of the Union Minister for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar to Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai over Kalasa Banduri project has reignited criticism of the Central minister and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

The Opposition and civil society have accused both BJP leaders of sacrificing Goa’s interests in its ongoing dispute with Karnataka over Mahadayi river water.

A day after Javadekar wrote to Bommai, stating that Karnataka could go ahead with the Kalasa-Banduri project after the award given by the Mahadayi Inter-State Water Dispute Tribunal is formally notified by the Central government, the members of the Progressive Front of Goa, a civil society pressure group, burnt an effigy of the Central minister in Panaji on Wednesday.

“Javadekar has once again plunged a dagger in the heart of Goa by unfairly allowing Karnataka to go ahead with the Kalasa-Banduri project. Goa will be destroyed if Karnataka is allowed to divert water from Mahadayi basin,” Mahesh Mahambre of the Front said.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the MoEF’s letter would have no bearing on Goa, since work on the Kalasa-Baanduri diversion project cannot be started until the tribunal award is notified. However,the Congress lashed out at Sawant for skulduggery.

“It’s another betrayal of people of Goa by Javadekar, BJP and NDA who chose the eve of Christmas to give a special gift to Goa. Congress party expects a point-to-point rebuttal by the Goa CM,”Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar said.

It’s deceptive: H K Patil

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Hubballi, former minister H K Patil opined that Javadekar’s letter was a deception.

“Instead of withdrawing December 18 letter which mentioned that forest clearance for Kalasa-Banduri project is kept in abeyance, Javadekar has now made a deceptive statement that the project can be implemented after Mahadayi Tribunal’s verdict is gazetted,” he said.

(Published 25 December 2019, 17:21 IST)

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