Bengaluru: The opposition parties in Goa came down heavily on Chief Minister Pramod Sawant over the issue of Mhadei river, after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that the Centre has cleared the much disputed Kalasa-Bhanduri dam project in his state.
The Opposition parties in Goa, along with all sections of society, have been raising voices to stop any attempts by Karnataka from diverting the water of Mhadei river.
Goa and Karnataka have been battling out a dispute over the Kalsa-Bhanduri dam project across the waters of the Mhadei river at a central tribunal. Mhadei originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji.
While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it has a length of 81.2 km in Goa.
Karnataka plans to construct dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in north Karnataka.
Reacting to the announcement by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao said that the claims of the double-engine government of protecting interests of Goa fall hollow and flat.
“BJP will not even bat an eye-lid to go all out in making Goa the sacrificial lamb for their political interests,” Alemao said.
“I expect the Chief Minister to sink political differences on Mhadei and lead an all-party delegation to the Prime Minister immediately. I had made this demand earlier but as usual it fell on deaf ears. The government should table all papers in respect of Mhadei before the Assembly. It is important to extend the session devoting a full day for Mhadei,” he further said.
Meanwhile, demanding Sawant’s resignation over the issue, Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai alleged that the former compromised with Mhadei to save his chair.
“The Goa Chief Minister was present for a high-level meeting in Delhi, which was attended by BJP’s senior leader C.T. Ravi, and the Karnataka Chief Minister. He was clearly told that the Central government is approving the DPR of the Karnataka government in regards to the Kalasa-Bhanduri Nala project. This means our lifeline of Goa is gone. This is the New Year gift of the spineless Chief Minister, who to save his chair didn’t utter a single word in this high level meeting. He had gone to the (Delhi) lobby for the induction of some defectors whom he had taken into the party,” Sardesai said.
“If we have such a type of spineless Chief Ministers then we are going to sell Goa to anyone who comes for the auction. He will sacrifice all the interests of Goa to save his chair. Mhadei is gone. He should resign and save Goa,” he further said.
He said Sawant should be replaced with a leader who can fight for Goa.