Bengaluru: Revolutionary Goan Party MLA Viresh Borkar on Sunday alleged that Goa’s BJP government is campaigning for its counterpart in Karnataka for the upcoming Assembly elections by compromising on the Mhadei issue.
“BJP has a double-engine government. Despite this, the (Goa) State BJP Government has asked local bodies to pass resolutions against the approval given to the DPR of Karnataka. Why?” he asked at a public meeting organised by his party at the Azad Maidan here over the nod given by the Centre to the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Karnataka for the disputed Kalasa-Bhanduri Dam project.
“Goa BJP government has started the election campaign of Karnataka by compromising Mhadei. This government is making the people of Goa suffer by allowing diverting water from Mhadei,” he said.
Borkar also lambasted the BJP government saying it is not giving the opportunity for people to raise their voice. “So far, the government has not clarified whether a daylong discussion will take place in the Assembly session,” he said, stressing the importance of discussion over the issue.
He also said that Congress governments (at Centre and State) in the past have also failed to resolve the issue of Mhadei. “Congress is also playing similar politics like BJP to benefit their party in Karnataka,” he said.
According to him, both BJP and Congress are helping their parties in Karnataka to derive political dividends over the Mhadei issue.
He said that Mhadei is important for ecological balance and environment. “Many areas of the State are dependent on Mhadei water. If water is diverted, then it will affect all of us,” he said.
Environmentalists have expressed fear that water diversion would lead to heightened salinity in the Mhadei, and this would also cause an ecological imbalance with the wildlife suffering.
Goa and Karnataka have been battling over the Kalsa-Bhanduri dam project across the Mhadei river before a Central tribunal. The 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 the state’s north.