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Mhadei dispute: AAP says BJP placed party interests over Goa

Mhadei dispute: AAP says BJP placed party interests over Goa
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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of sabotaging the interest of the state over party interests vis-a-vis the Mhadei interstate water sharing issue.

Panaji: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of sabotaging the interest of the state over party interests vis-a-vis the Mhadei inter-state water sharing issue.

"Mhadei issue should have been considered as above party lines. BJP, that has managed to get numbers by exploiting the greed of non-BJP MLAs, pushing Goa's case on the sidelines to help the party in Karnataka is an unpardonable act of betrayal," state AAP convenor Elvis Gomes told reporters here on Friday.

The controversy has risen after the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests gave the Karnataka government a conditional clearance to construct the Kalasa-Banduri canal to divert water from the Mhadei river, also known as the Mahadayi in Karnataka, to water deficit regions in North Karnataka.

While the opposition has demanded Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's resignation on the issue, Sawant said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had erred in taking the decision, without consulting the Goa government, which has alleged illegalities in the construction of the canal in a special leave petition filed before the Supreme Court.

Sawant on Thursday has demanded that the MoEF should withdraw the consent given to the Karnataka government, failing which the state government would approach the National Green Tribunal or even knock on the doors of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for seeking his intervention into the matter.

The Mhadei or Mandovi, the river is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of the state. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

The Tribunal hearing the over two-decade-old dispute between the state, Karnataka and Maharashtra over Mhadei river water sharing, had in its verdict in August 2018, allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) from the Mhadei river basin (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka.

Maharashtra has been allotted 1.33 TMC. Both Karnataka and the state have publicly expressed reservations about the Tribunal's award and have also approached the Supreme Court for relief.

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