8 Goa officials held in K'taka over Mahaday row: Min

8 Goa officials held in K'taka over Mahaday row: Min

Eight officials from Goa were detained by the Karnataka Police on Wednesday when they visited a site there in connection with the Mahadayi river water dispute between the two states, Goa's Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar said.

He said the eight officials of his department were released after being questioned by the Karnataka Police who, he claimed, also told them not to visit the site without proper permission from the district authorities concerned.

"Eight officials from our team visited the site where Karnataka has blocked the Mahadayi river water, were detained by the Karnataka Police," Palyekar told PTI.

"The action of detaining the government officers who were on duty is condemnable," the minister said.

Palyekar said he has asked the Goa Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister P Krishnamurthy to speak to his counterpart in Karnataka in connection with the matter.

Karnataka and Goa, the riparian states of the Mahadayi (known as Mandovi in Goa), have been locked in a bitter battle over sharing of the water of the river, which originates at Belagavi in Karnataka.

The matter is pending before the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.

The Goa government had alleged last month that Karnataka was diverting the river water to its Malaprabha basin.

Last year, the Supreme Court had ordered Karnataka to stop the work on the construction of a canal, which was aimed at diverting water from the Mahadayi tributary.

Goa claimed that it had photographic evidence to support its claim that the work had begun.

However, Karnataka had rejected the claim saying there was no such activity.

In January this year, the Goa government had told the tribunal that Karnataka was demanding Mahadayi river water for irrigating its sugarcane crop areas.

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