Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday urged political leaders in the state to exercise restraint while making any statement on the Mahadayi river diversion issue, as it might affect the state's case in the Supreme Court.
Addressing an event in Porvorim on the occasion of Goa Legislators' Day, Sawant said the state government is "very much concerned" about the diversion of water from Mahadayi river and is following up with the Centre on the issue.
"Though there is freedom of speech in the state, when it comes to the issue of Mahadayi river water diversion, we should exercise restraint," the chief minister said.
Goa and Karnataka are embroiled in a long-standing dispute over diversion of water from Mahadayi through the construction of dams by Karnataka on the river’s tributaries Kalasa and Banduri.
The Centre recently approved the detailed project report (DPR) submitted by Karnataka for the construction of the two dams.
“Ensure that you don't get carried away and make statements that are taken up in the Supreme Court. It will adversely affect our case,” he said.
Sawant further said that the state's demand for a water management authority will be passed by the Centre, after which the state will be able to get the water rediverted.
Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra have challenged the award by the inter-state water dispute tribunal in 2019 over sharing water of Mahadayi river. The case is currently before the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Opposition MLAs from the Congress and Goa Forward Party on Monday submitted letters to Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar demanding a special one-day discussion in the state Assembly on Mahadayi river diversion.
Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao of the Congress and GFP MLA Vijai Sardesai submitted letters to the Speaker ahead of the Business Advisory Committee meeting scheduled later in the day.
A session of the Goa Legislative Assembly is scheduled to be held from January 16 to 19.
“Submitted letter to Speaker @ramesh_tawadkar with an appeal to place before BAC concerns raised by me & take corrective steps to ensure extended session, discussion on Mhadei, Private Members Day & Opportunities to raise issues concerning Goa,” Alemao tweeted.
Sardesai in his letter said that the Mahadayi issue was “the single most burning matter of discussion” in Goa.
“The people of Goa, understandably, are anxious and apprehensive, and have a right to know the truth behind the entire episode, and the government's further plan of action to save Mhadei,” the GFP leader stated.
At least one whole day should be added to the upcoming session for an exclusive discussion on the Mahadayi issue to bring on record all the facts and figures, the role the government has played in this critical issue and the remedies being considered by them, he said.