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“Karnataka has diverted Mahadayi river, quantum of diverted water not known”

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Panaji: While admitting on the floor of the House that Karnataka has diverted the water of River Mahadayi, Goa’s Water Resources Department minister Philip Neri Rodrigues told the House  that the exact amount of water taken away could not be quantified.

During the first day of a three-day-long Assembly Session, the opposition benches cornered Pramod Sawant-led government on the issue of Mahadayi river water diversion.

Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte raising the issue on the floor of the House asking the state government about the status of the River dispute with Karnataka. He feared that ecology of the state will be affected due to diversion of the water.

He also sought to know whether Goa government admits that Karnataka has diverted the water and if yes, how much has been taken away.

He also sought pointed out that the state government had filed Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court delayed.

Responding to the question, Rodrigues said that SLP was filed in the SC against the order of inter state water dispute tribunal after getting the delay condoned.

He also admitted that there was a diversion of water by Karnataka and claimed that the state government has already prepared a report about it, which is submitted to the SC.

“We have submitted the report to the court. All the three states have submitted their reports. We cannot table the report as the case is before the SC,” the minister said.

Asking a supplementary question, Khaunte questioned whether the salinity test of Mahadayi river water in Goa has been done. He charged that government should have done the test in May month, when salinity is high.

Intervening in the discussion, Chief Minister said that the Jal Shakti ministry had approved National Institute of Hydrology to be the agency for conducting the test. He said that the report has been tabled before the SC.

Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai said that the state government should have appointed a committee to check the daily loss of water due to the diversion.

“The disputed site of the dam should have been declared as a neutral zone, what steps have you taken. After contempt petition in 2020, the case is not heard further. The case is postponed  to decide on whether virtual or physical hearing,” he said.

Rodrigues said that the state cannot quantify the amount of water diverted as it is happening at Karnataka’s side.

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