Goa keeps eye on Karnataka’s river project

August 8th, 2011 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Aug 8 (IANS) Goa is keeping an eye on Karnataka’s controversial Kalasa-Bhandura diversion dam project, across the Mhadei river, Goa Water Resources Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues said Monday, hinting that the state would fight for its rights at the water disputes tribunal.

Goa and Karnataka are engaged in a bitter dispute over the waters of the river.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Rodrigues said that teams of government officials were covertly photographing and documenting Karnataka’s construction of the dam on the river, which flows into Goa from Karnataka.

“We have sent teams who are taking photos and documenting what they (Karnataka government officials) are doing at the site. We are keeping an eye on what is happening there,” Rodrigues said, adding that this will be presented as evidence to tribunal.

“The work at the Kalasa site is happening despite the fact that the Mhadei water dispute is pending before the tribunal. This is not done. We will inform the tribunal authorities about this,” the minister said.

The Mhadei river originates in Karnataka and falls into the Arabian sea at Panaji. While the river travels 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km long in Goa, where it is known as the Mandovi.

Karnataka has a plan to construct seven dams across the river, aimed to divert the river’s water into its Malaprabha basin which is water starved.

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

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