Mhadei: Goa files contempt plea in SC against Karnataka

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Oct 6th, 2020, 21:15:54hrs
Pramod Sawant

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that his government has filed a contempt petition before the Supreme Court alleging Karnataka of illegally diverting water from the Mhadei river basin via the newly constructed Kalasa-Banduri canal.

"Contempt Petition has been filed in the Hon'ble Supreme Court today against Karnataka for illegal diversion of #Mhadei water. We will continue to fight for our right," Sawant tweeted.

The announcement comes a day after Sawant during a media interaction on Monday, said his government has collected enough evidence to prove that Karnataka has started diverting water from the inter-state river, Mhadei, to the deficit basin of the Malaprabha river in Karnataka.

"We are filing a contempt petition with evidence to show how they have diverted water. There is no pressure on us from the Centre. There will be no injustice on Goa from the Centre. For me the Mahadayi (Mhadei in Goa) is not a political issue, it is an issue linked to my heart," Sawant said on Monday.

The contents of the contempt petition filed by the Goa government, claims that Karnataka has committed contempt against the apex court, by already diverting water from the Mhadei river, despite a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Goa government pending with the top court.

The SLP, which was filed in July last year, also challenges the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal award in 2018, which allowed Karnataka to divert 13.42 TMC water from the river basin.

The SLP had also said that Karnataka was diverting more water than what allotted by the Award.

Sawant has maintained that the contents of the award were "damaging to Goa" and the diversion of water would cause "ecological devastation in Goa".

The Congress in Goa in the meanwhile has demanded a white paper on the Mhadei issue, while taking objection to the Chief Minister's comments on Monday, in which Sawant accused past Congress-led government for playing into Karnataka's hands vis a vis the water sharing conflict.

"Pramod Sawant must first come clean on the blanket approvals given by the BJP Government to Karnataka in last two years... He should also answer why Karnataka government petition to notify the Mhadei Tribunal award was not objected to by the Goa government," state Congress Girish Chodankar said on Tuesday.

Mhadei also known as the Mandovi river in Goa and Mahadayi in Karnataka, is considered as a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa.

It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

While the river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is over 50 km in length in the Goa.

Goa and Karnataka are battling out a two decade-long dispute over the sharing of the Mhadei river.