Mahadayi River Water Dispute Tribunal team on Goa visit

A nine-member team, headed by chairman of Mahadayi River Water Dispute Tribunal Justice (retd) J.M. Panchal, two members of the tribunal, and others on Friday visited south Goa-based major port of Mormugao Port Trust, Cumbharjua canal, Panaji jetty, on the second day of their arrival in Goa on a five-day visit.

The teams arrived in Goa on Thursday. A team of Goa officials led by Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni, Karnataka team of 15 led by Advocate General Ravi Verma, and Chief Engineer of Water Resources Department and others, and a five-member team from Maharashtra led by their Chief Engineer, Water Resources Department, also accompanied the Tribunal team.

On Saturday, the teams will continue their visits to other sites in Goa and will participate in the deliberations over the water-dispute issue. Teams are also expected to visit the site of Kalsa-Bhandura dam projects near Kankumbi in Karnataka to study its environmental implications.

Goa’s team consists of 12 officials including Goa Water Resource Department Chief Engineer T. S. Nadkarni, apart from Advocate General.

Other sites on schedule include Virdi Dam, Anjune Dam, Amtane Dam, and Ganje Dam and other areas over which the Goa government had raised concerns about the Karnataka government’s proposed plans of diversion of Mahadayi basin water, its plea before the Tribunal.

On Tuesday, the penultimate day of Goa tour of the Tribunal, State government would make a power-point presentation before the Tribunal to put before it its case to save Mahadayi river, which Goa considers a lifeline, and oppose diversion of water by Karnataka.

Mahadayi Bachav Abhiyan (MBA), a people’s movement comprising activists and environmentalists from Goa would submit a representation to the Tribunal team opposing water diversion plans. A spokesperson of MBA said on Thursday that they would also hand over resolutions passed by various village panchayats in this area opposing Karnataka’s plans to divert Mahadayi waters to Malprabha, as it would cause environmental and ecological damage in Goa.

The Mahadayi river flows down to Goa and is called Mandovi in Goa.

In its second leg, the team will visit Karnataka sites from December 18 to 25. The Centre had to constitute a tribunal following Goa government’s persistent opposition to Karnataka’s moves to divert the water of Mahadayi.

Source: TH