Panaji: ‘Dadagiri’ by Karnataka on river water issue: Goa minister

Panaji, Feb 11 (IANS) A Goa minister on Thursday accused Karnataka of ‘dadagiri’ (bullying) over the Mhadei river water dispute, which is currently being looked into by a central tribunal as well as the Supreme Court.

“Karnataka is doing dadagiri. I am saying this in simple words. They are defying a judicial decision and still carrying out work of constructing facilities for river water diversion. We will not compromise on the Mhadei issue in any way,” state Water Resources Minister Dayanand Mandrekar said at a public discussion on the dispute.

Goa and Karnataka are currently battling out the dispute over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the waters of the Mhadei at a central tribunal.

Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji. While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km long in Goa.

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

Both the Goa government and civil society groups have said that diverting the water would sound a death knell to the northern areas of Goa which are dependent on the river for fishing, irrigation and potable water.

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