Margao: Goa Forward Party MLA Vinod Palyekar has said that the recent statements by Rajendra Kerkar against Goa Forward is a feeble and shameless attempt by him to put himself in the spotlight and redeem his shabby appearance as a witness at the Hon’ble Mahadayi Tribunal.
His references to Goa Forward and our case in the NGT can only be termed as a cheap publicity stunt that trivialises the Mhadei issue, Palyekar has said in a statement issued here.
“It’s common knowledge that Karnataka has for long used the façade of ‘Drinking Water’ while the real intent is to divert the Interstate River Mahadayi for other purposes. A letter was sent subsequently by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to Karnataka as a clarification.”
“We suspected a conspiracy against the state of Goa and as a dutiful opposition and a responsible political party we exposed this and challenged intent of the letter. There was no effective opposition to this blatant injustice to Goa and an all party delegation that met Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, returned with empty hands, creating a feeling that unless we do something constructive, the Mhadei issue will go against our state’s interests. It was under these circumstances that Goa Forward decided to move the Hon’ble NGT,” the GFP leader has said.
“We would like to remind Shri Rajendra Kerkar that, he was examined as a witness on behalf of the state of Goa before the Mahadayi Tribunal. However, his self-constrained ‘notions’ had serious implications for the state of Goa and the subsequent Mhadei award by the Tribunal.”
“Interestingly the Hon’ble Tribunal had observed on Page 1066 of Volume VI of the award thus: “…. Further, the Tribunal notices that the Tribunal had brought to the notice of the witness, the observations of research paper 107 of IWMI, wherein, it is, inter alia stated that the data which have been acquired and used were, primarily publicly available sources, and data are outdated and no conclusions on the accuracy or even origin of the data could be made. The Tribunal notices that the witness could not offer any cogent reasons given in Research paper 107 of IWMI.”
“ Kerkar was found to be using outdated data in the Tribunal which hampered Goa’s case and for which he had no plausible explanation.The Hon’ble Tribunal has further observed at page 1065 that “Further, Shri. Kerkar has stated that he has “biophilic feelings” (Para 04). Thus, Tribunal finds that his evidence lacks objectivity and has no scientific basis.” Further at Para 519 at Page 1066 of the Mahadayi award it was also observed that “In view of the above inconsistencies and deficiencies which are found by the Tribunal, in the evidence adduced by Shri. Rajendra Kerkar, the Tribunal does not consider it to be prudent to rely on the same.”
It appears in the statements reported in dailies that Shri.Rajendra Kerkar has not even read the application filed before NGT before offering his unsolicited and misguided opinion. It must be noted that the application filed by Goa Forward before NGT had a total of 7 prayers including seeking a stay of the Irrigation Project which is being showcased as a drinking water project,” he said.
Palyekar said “So it’s only reasonable to assert that the statements by the self-centred Shri.Rajendra Kerkar against Goa Forward are flimsy and baseless and devoid of substance. “
“Further more, it should be noted by everyone that it was his half baked and amateurish depositions in the Mahadayi Tribunal which is on record, and not Goa Forward’s constructive intervention, that had serious implications that did not aid the express interests of our state.”