Goa to write to neighbouring State objecting to the work; Violation will be brought to the notice of Tribunal
PANJIM: Violating its own submission before the Supreme Court and directives of the Mhadei Water Disputes Trinunal (MWDT), Karnataka has blocked the Mhadei tributary at Kankumbi by resuming work on the diversion project of the Kalsa nullah. Goa has decided to write to Karnataka objecting to the resumption of work and a submission on this violation will be also made before the MWDT.
Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan (MBA) is also likely to move the Supreme Court, pointing to Karnataka’s violation as the State had assured the Apex Court in August 2017 that it will not undertake construction work of the Kalsa-Bhandura project in Kankumbi.
Karnataka’s move comes at a time when there is much unrest in both States over the Mhadei water sharing controversy following a letter from Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to the BJP Karnataka president B S Yeddurappa. Pro-Kannada outfits have given a call for a ‘Karnataka Bandh’ on January 25 to press for the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the water sharing row between the two states.
Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyenkar confirmed the development following a site inspection by WRD engineers. “Karnataka has started construction of head regulator and allied work on the Kalsa nullah in total disregard of the orders of the Tribunal and Supreme Court directives,” he said. “A team of engineers from WRD visited the site and confirmed the same with photographs,” he added.
The Minister said that the State government is seized with the issue and letters will be sent to the Karnataka government on the matter. “We will also make submission before the Tribunal, which is hearing the matter,” Palyekar said.
As directed by the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary of Goa is writing to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka to immediately stop work on the bund at Kalsa.
Speaking to Herald, Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar said that currently, the natural flow of Kalsa nullha, which flows towards the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, has been blocked by an earthen embankment at Kankumbi and this has affected the water falls.
“Karnataka’s move is in complete violation of its own submission before the Supreme Court in August last year. It had assured the Apex court that it will not go ahead with the construction work. Based on their submission, the Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan case was disposed,” Kerkar, who is been closely monitoring the case, said.
Kerkar said that the Supreme Court has granted leave to the petitioner (MBA) to approach the Court if it observes any violation by Karnataka. “We will move in that direction,” he said.
When contacted, senior counsel appearing on behalf Goa Adv Atmaram Nadkarni said that the violation will be brought to the notice to Tribunal during State’s written submission on January 15. “This is in complete violation of Tribunal directives,” he said.