Karnataka accepts Goa Mahadayi offer, but spells out its terms

Stating that the BJP-led state government's willingness for bilateral talks with Karnataka for provision of drinking water from the Mhadei river basin to drought-prone areas of North Karnataka is 'anti-Goa and anti-Goenkar, ' the Congress party on Friday objected to this decision of the government and said that this is a move of the BJP to win the Karnataka election scheduled to be held next year. "We want the Goa government to submit a written assurance to the tribunal and the Karnataka government", Chief Minister Siddaramaiah added.

Instead of making this an ego issue and engage in a protracted battle with the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Siddaramaiah merely said, "I am writing this after the media reported about a personal letter addressed by you (Parrikar) to state BJP President B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday". Today Goa has 63 per cent forest cover. "Will also work out a monitoring mechanism, with Goa being part of the mechanism", he said.The Chief Minister recalled that the tribunal had also suggested that both the states should explore possibility of mutual agreement on the issue of drinking water.

Karnataka is seeking release of 7.56tmcft of water by Goa from the river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project, being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin-cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and the districts of Belagavi and Gadag. In the meeting with the Prime Minister, none of the BJP leaders had said a word, including Goa CM Manohar Parrikar.

He said that there was no issue of sharing water with Karnataka and the dispute was only limited to illegal constructions erected by Karnataka government over the river which is obstructing the natural flow of the river water. "I am willing to meet Goa Chief Minister", he added.

Mr Parrikar also said that though BJP agreed to share the water, Goa Congress will not allow it to happen, it will oppose its tooth and nail for the project.

Mr Shah spelled out the tight political situation, the BJP is facing in the state on the issue, with the Congress government accusations that the BJP government in Goa was exclusively responsible for opposing the project, having a negative fallout for the state BJP unit.

A team of BJP leaders, led by Yeddyurappa had met Goa Chief Minister Parrikar and BJP National President Amit Shah in Delhi on Wednesday in New Delhi.

Naik alleged that Karnataka is full of underutilized drinking water sources like the tributary of the river Malaprabha near Hubli which has a catchment area of 5048 square kilometres.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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