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Sunday, January 23, 2022

One River Two Names : The Mahadayi Water Dispute

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The River is called Mahadayi in Karnataka and Mandovi in Goa. The river’s course starts in Belgavi (Karnataka) which spans about 30 KM and in Goa 50Km.

The Dispute

The state of karnataka has been of the opinion that a lot of the river water does not get utilized in Goa and thus gets wasted into the arabian sea. To resolve the water crises in North districts the Karnataka state had been planning to divert water to dams since 1970s. In 1973 they also wanted to establish a hydorpower dam, since then they have been wanting to construct 12 dams on the river and divert 10 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of river water, claiming to serve its dry central region where farmers are dependent on rains and various villages are fed by tankers.


Is it an environmental Concern for Goa ?Image result for Mahadayi Water Dispute"

Goa’s stand always has been that Mahadei river is lifeline of many fisher-folks moreover the divesion of water would cause serious ecological imbalance in flora and fauna. The Mhadei Wildlife sactuary would directly get affect if the water is diverted the sactuary is only 300 metres away from the damming site at Kalsa in Karnataka. Furthermore according to Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, such a diversion near a Wildlife Sanctuary or National Park requires permission from the National Board of Wildlife headed by the Prime Minister State of karnatraka without obtaining any permisson has started excavating the Kalsa canal project.

Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan’s Gen. Secretary Rajendra Kerkar has been on the forefront to defend Goa’s stand. He contended that farmers will be the worst sufferers if the water is diverted.


What is the Stand of the centre ?

The source of drinking water for 43% of Goa’s population is now on the brink of getting exhausted as Prakash Javdekar serving as the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Minister of Information and Broadcastinggave an affirmative answer to Karnakata to build dams on the river. On 4th November 2019 due to the pressure groups who pointed out that the matter was sub-judice and permission cannot be granted Javdekar said that he had made a mistake by giving a nod to Karnataka to build dams. Meanwhile the Oppositing in Goa has slammed Pramod Sawant the Chief Minister for not defending Goa’s stand in Delhi. A local NGO Progressive Front of Goa has warned that “if Javadekar does not respond to the request from Goa vis a vis the Mhadei issue, the Union Minister who also heads the central Information and Broadcasting Ministry would have to “face the music”, when he visits Goa next week to inaugurate the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India”. It seems that succeeding Governmets have failed to defend the stand of Goa in protecting Mhadei river. Whether the water will be diverted in Karnataka or not time alone will tell.

What is your opinion about Mhadei or Mandovi ? Should the water be diverted or not and if so then why ? let us know I the comments…

    — By Prasenjeet D.


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