Kalasa-Banduri can't be cleared without hearing us: Goa

Both Goa and Karnataka have filed petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the tribunal's award. DH Photo

After Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that environment clearance (EC) has been granted to Karnataka for the Kalasa-Banduri project on the Mahadayi, the Goa government on Wednesday said such a clearance could not be granted without giving it a hearing.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant claimed on Twitter that his government was not aware that clearance had been granted.

"Mhadei (river Mahadayi) is more than mother to us. We shall protect it at any cost. Officially Govt of Goa is not aware of any EC having been granted to Karnataka affecting Mhadei (Mahamayi) river," he said.

"According to us, such EC can't be granted without hearing Goa government and without considering the case of state of Goa. In case such EC is issued without hearing state of Goa, we shall challenge the same before appropriate forum including NGT (national green tribunal)," he tweeted.

"We shall defend the interest of people of Goa and the state at any cost," Sawant added.

Javadekar had announced the grant of EC for the project through Twitter.

"On the follow up of my cabinet colleague @JoshiPralhad (Union Mines Minister), Kalasa Banduri drinking water project in Karnataka has been granted environmental approval," he had said.

Goa Forward Party Chief Vijai Sardesai termed the move as "Kill Mahadayi River".

"Shocked and Outraged. This is no drinking water project. This is 'Kill Mahadayi River' project. A plan we, as a party and as partners in government, fought tooth and nail," he tweeted.

Sardesai questioned Chief Minister Sawant's stand on the matter and added that "there is no better way to kill Goa's flora and fauna then to build on Mahadayi and divert water."

Goa Congress Chief Girish Chodankar said his party would not allow even a drop of Goa's share of water to be diverted.

The BJP governments at the Centre and in Karnataka and Goa conspired to sacrifice the lifeline of Goa, the Mhadei, despite being fully aware that it would be disastrous for the Goa, the Congress leader said.

On August 14, 2018, the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal which was hearing a dispute between Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra over the sharing of water from the Mhadei, allotted 13.42 TMC (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) from the Mhadei river basin to Karnataka.

Maharashtra was allotted 1.33 TMC water.

Both Goa and Karnataka have filed petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the tribunal's award. 

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