Javadekar's letter politically driven: Goa minister

Casting aspersions on Union Minister of Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar's letter to the Karnataka government, which gave a go-ahead to the Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project, Goa's Minister for Captain of Ports Michael Lobo on Thursday said, that the communication may have been issued with an eye on Assembly bypolls in Karnataka. 

Addressing a press conference here, Lobo also said, that one should not get 'distracted' by such a letter, which could be issued to assuage the political situation in Karnataka. 

"The letter to the Karnataka government does not specify environmental clearance to the Kalasa-Banduri project. Time and again, such letters have been issued… Sometimes this type of letters are also given for political reasons," Lobo told a press conference. Bypolls for 15 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka are scheduled in December. 

The assertion made by Lobo, also a BJP MLA, comes days after an all-party delegation from Goa, headed by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, met Javadekar in the national capital and urged the Central minister to withdraw the letter issued on October 23, which has triggered controversy. On his return from Delhi, Sawant has maintained that Javadekar had asked for 10 days to decide on the Goa government's request for withdrawal of his letter. 

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant also reiterated that if the MoEF does not withdraw the letter in question, the Goa government would oppose, tooth and nail, any attempt made by the Karnataka government for additional diversion of the Mahadayi river water, and even petition the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for relief. 

Last year, the Mahadayi interstate water dispute tribunal, in its award, had allocated 13.42 tmcft (including 3.9 tmcft for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) from the Mahadayi river basin to Karnataka. Maharashtra was granted 1.33 tmcft. 

Karnataka and Goa have subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court against the provisions of the award.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)