Bengaluru: The Congress party members on Sunday January 15 performed a ‘pooja’ of Mhadei river at Nanora Valpoi in North Goa and sought its blessings to spread awareness among the people of the coastal state on the “fight for its existence.”
Under the programme ‘Mhadei Jagor’, Congress workers from across the state had gathered to seek blessings of ‘Mhadei’ by performing pooja for the success of people’s movement, which will begin on January 16, at Virdi Amona in Sanquelim constituency.
Goa unit Congress President Amit Patkar, MLA Carlos Alvares Ferreira, and their supporters were present on the occasion.
According to Congress leader Amarnath Panjikar, water collected in ‘Kalash’ from Mhadei will be taken to all the areas of Goa and to make people aware. “If Karnataka gets to divert the water, Goa will suffer and not get potable water. We will visit every place to make the people aware of this issue,” Panjikar said.
He said that as the Central government has approved the Detailed Project Report of Karnataka for the disputed Kalasa-Bhanduri dam project, people of Goa will have to fight to get it withdrawn.
He also slammed the government, stating that it failed to protect Mhadei, which is revered as ‘mother’. “We need to know the importance of Mother Mhadei,” he said.
MLA Carlos Alvares Ferreira that our enemy is one who is robbing Mhadei.
“I appeal to people to come forward and support this movement. We need to save Mhadei,” he said.
Patkar also appealed to the people of Goa to support the movement and attend the public meeting ‘Sankhali’ on Monday.
“The Congress has always been vocal in regards to the issue of Mhadei. Even now, we will fight for the cause and will save our Mhadei,” he added.
Meanwhile, ahead of the Assembly session and public meeting called by the Opposition on Monday, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant addressed the people of the state to inform them about the steps taken to deal with the Mhadei issue.
Sawant said “the Opposition — who in the past failed to fight for Mhadei, is trying to politicise the issue.”
“We have urged the Central government for immediate constitution of the Mhadei Water Management Authority as given in the award and also urged for the withdrawal of the DPR sanctioned by the CWC,” Sawant said.
Earlier, to the address of Sawant, Water Resource Minister Subhash Shirodkar addressed a press conference over the Mhadei issue and said that the government is taking all efforts to protect Mhadei.