Goa CM wants Karnataka, Maharashtra to postpone meeting on Mhadei

Panaji, Oct 20 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Thursday urged his counterparts in Maharashtra and Karnataka to postpone a Friday meeting to find an amicable resolution to the vexed Mhadei inter-state water dispute.

In his letter to Devendra Fadnavis and Siddaramaiah, Parsekar said he would not be able to attend the Friday meeting in Mumbai due to “prior engagements”.

He urged the Maharashtra Chief Minister to reschedule the meet for next week.

Goa and Karnataka are currently battling over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura Dam project across Mhadei river before a central tribunal.

Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa. The river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa.

While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka and for a small distance in Maharashtra, it is 81.2-km long in Goa.

The tribunal earlier this year asked the three Chief Ministers to meet and find an amicable solution to the dispute.

Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into water-starved Malaprabha basin in north Karnataka.

The tribunal has already ordered an interim stay on the construction by Karnataka in the Mhadei basin.

Both the Goa government and civil society groups in Goa have said that diverting the river waters will sound the death knell for the northern areas of the coastal state, which depends on the river for fishing, irrigation and potable water supply.

–IANS

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