Mahadayi: Environment ministry writes to Goa govt

The Mahadayi Water Dispute. (DH photo)

The Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry have written to Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant stating it would form a committee to look into the decision to exclude Karnataka's Kalasa-Banduri project on Mahadayi river from the need for environmental clearance.

The letter, dated November 18, was in response to a memorandum submitted on November 4 by an all-party Goa delegation led by Sawant, officials said here on Tuesday.

Goa recently protested over a reported Central nod to Karnataka to go ahead with the Kalasa Banduri project which aims at providing drinking water to three north Karnataka districts by diverting Mahadayi water.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar's letter said that "regarding the Kalasa Banduri project, it is informed through your memorandum that the proposal submitted to the ministry is more than a drinking water project and thus requires to be reviewed in detail by the ministry".

"In this connection, a committee is being constituted to look into the issues raised in detail," the letter added.

Speaking on the letter, Sawant said, "The minister has taken due cognisance of the representation submitted by our all-party delegation and has constituted a committee to examine the issue."

He said he was confident the committee will safeguard Goa's interest with a favourable decision.

Sawant had led an all-party delegation from Goa on November 4 asking Javadekar to withdraw his ministry's letter to Karnataka on excluding the need for environment clearance for Kalasa Banduri project.

Earlier on Monday, Sawant had asked people to have patience on the state's dispute with neighbouring Karnataka over the sharing of Mahadayi river waters.

"Have a little patience on the issue. I am not going to compromise on it. We will not allow Mahadayi water to be diverted," Sawant had told reporters.

He had said the Congress, which ruled the state from 2007-12, should have protested against the project at the time, and this situation would have been avoided. 

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