News Karnataka
Saturday, February 04 2023

Karnataka: Notice likely by Goa under Wildlife Protection Act

Karnataka: Sawant-led delegation to meet Shah over Mhadei issue
Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: The Goa government on Monday decided to issue notice to Karnataka for allegedly taking water from the wildlife sanctuaries of the state.

The decision was taken during the special Cabinet meeting convened to discuss Mhadei diversion issue over Central government’s approval to Karnataka’s Detailed Project Report for the disputed Kalasa-Bhanduri dam project.

“They can’t divert the water. Notice will be issued under the Wildlife protection act. We have started the process to issue notice,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said after the meeting.

“My government is serious about Mhadei. Allegations made by the opposition are baseless. I reiterate that we will not compromise on Mhadei. Fight for Mhadei will continue. As per time and need, we will meet and fight with the Centre and will take decisions,” he added.

Opposition parties in Goa had alleged that the BJP government is compromising on Mhadei, so the Karnataka BJP can derive political dividends during the coming Assembly elections there.

Sawant said that his government has not received an official DPR copy. “We have demanded it. We have made a strategy where we can lodge our objections. There is no need to make this strategy public,” he said, adding they will demand that the Centre withdraw the approval given to the DPR.

“We will not allow to take water from ‘Out of the basin’, although the tribunal has permitted Karnataka to take 3.9 TMC water, we have challenged it in the Supreme Court,” he said.

“We will issue notice to Karnataka for taking water from wildlife sanctuaries. They can’t divert the water. Notice will be issued under the Wildlife protection act,” he added.

Sawant said that the government will stress on demanding to form a ‘Water Management Authority’ so that Karnataka can be stopped from illegally diverting water.

“… also DPR can go to the Water Management Authority. So they can decide on it. Authority is needed to inspect the projects from where the water is illegally taken to Karnataka,” he said.

Sawant said that he will lead an all legislative party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

According to Sawant, wildlife sanctuaries of Goa are dependent on Mhadei water and hence they will not compromise on Mhadei. “Water from Mhadei is also used for potable purposes,” he said.

He urged all to come together to fight for Mhadei with unity.

He said that though Karnataka has got approval for DPR, they can’t start work immediately as they need other mandatory approvals like environment.

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