Oppn taunts Goa CM over Mahadayi issue again

Former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai said on Monday that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should repeat his commitment made to Goa on the Mahadayi river water sharing issue when he campaigns in Karnataka for the upcoming byelections.

“I challenge @DrPramodPSawant 2 campaign in #KarnatakaByElections & publicly state that he wouldn’t allow a single drop of #Mhadei (Mahadayi) water 2 b diverted. Last month he canvassed in Maharashtra assembly polls & bought property too,” the opposition leader said.

Sardesai also heads the Goa Forward party which has three opposition MLAs in Goa. The Goa chief minister has maintained that he would not allow Karnataka to draw additional water from the Mahadayi river basin, other than the quantum allotted by an interstate tribunal last year. 

Sawant has faced criticism from the Opposition which has accused him of being a mute spectator and not protested enough against the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests’s decision last month to give a go-ahead to the Kalasa Banduri dam project, which intends to divert additional water from the Mahadayi basin to the deficit basin of the Malaprabha river for drinking water purpose. 

On November 4, Sawant led an all-party delegation to the national capital to met Union MoEF Minister Prakash Javadekar and urged the latter to withdraw his ministry's green nod to the Rs 841-crore project, claiming the matter was sub judice and that the diversion of water from the Mahadayi basin would wreak havoc in Goa.

In response, Javadekar had claimed that the letter sanctioning the green nod, was issued due to an oversight and had sought 10 days' time to respond to the demands made by the delegation.

The 10-day deadline lapsed last week, which led the Opposition to lash out at Sawant for being “lackadaisical” and “ineffective”. Sawant has expressed faith that Javadekar would get back to him on the Kalasa Banduri project clearance in the coming days.

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