Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday told the Legislative Assembly that his government was exploring the possibility of putting to use the water from Mhadei river for the benefit of people in the state. At present, Goa does not have any significant project on the Mhadei river that utilises its water for purposes like agriculture and power generation. Presenting the state Budget in the House, Sawant said his government was closely monitoring the activities of Karnataka and issues pending before the central government authorities.
"In the meanwhile, we are also exploring and coming out with appropriate plans for utilisation of waters from Mhadei basin for the benefit of the people," the chief minister told the House. Sawant said the sate government has projects which are planned and will be taken up upon following the legal procedure. "Our projects will be in accordance with the provisions of the environmental laws. Such projects will be taken up in consonance with our case relating to Mhadei dispute," he said.
Sawant said that when his government took over, one of the major issues was the Mhadei Water Dispute."We were faced with the award of the Tribunal, permitting diversion of 3.9 TMC water outside the basin. I took immediate steps to challenge the award in the supreme Court. As of today, we have favourable orders from the Supreme Court, stopping Karnataka from carrying out any further work/diversion," he said.
The chief minister said that Goa government has effectively stopped any further construction/diversion of the Mhadei waters. "My government is closely monitoring the activities of Karnataka and issues pending before the various central government authorities," he said.
Sawant said that his government has made a strong case before the Regionally Empowered Committee (Forest) at Bangalore and in New Delhi to not grant any forest clearance. All the departments of the government are acting in a synchronised manner, he said, adding that the government is confident that it will take all steps to ensure that no damage/diversion takes place. "We are committed to the cause of Mhadei and shall not leave any stone unturned in our Mission Mhadei,” he said.