Goa delegation to meet PM over water dispute with Karnataka

December 30th, 2008 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghPanaji, Dec 30 (IANS) Chief Minister Digambar Kamat will lead an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put forth Goa’s views on Karnataka’s plan to divert the waters of the Mhadei river.The all-party delegation would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Water Resource Development Minister Saifuddin Soz, Kamat told reporters after a cabinet meeting here Tuesday.

“We have already discussed the issue with the opposition, who are with us,” Kamat said.

He said the central government had decided to refer the issue to a water disputes tribunal for arbitraration.

“This is exactly what we have been pushing for. This shows that the central government has heeded our demands,” Kamat said.

The Mhadei, also known as Mandovi, empties into the Arabian sea off Goa.

The state government had raised objection to the construction of a canal intended to divert the waters of the Mhadei river to the depleted Malaprabha basin in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet cleared several one-time settlement (OTS) schemes as a New Year gift to the small domestic consumers.

The electricity department’s OTS, which immediately came into force, allows those domestic consumers who owe up to Rs.20,000, to pay only the principal due amount.

“The penal interest and other accumulated fines will be waived off,” Kamat said.

This move will benefit more than 6,000 consumers and is expected to cost the exchequer Rs.1.68 billion (Rs.168 crore).

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