Panaji: Water Resources Minister Philip Neri Rodrigues on Thursday said the letter by Union Environment Ministry to Karnataka has no value as the matter regarding Mahadayi river diversion has been pending before the Supreme Court.
Rodrigues told reporters in Panaji that the SC is hearing the contempt petition filed by Goa government against Karnataka for diverting Mahadayi river illegally and forcibally.
Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar had written letter to Karnataka governmnet on December 24 claiming that Kalsa Bhanduri project on Mahadayi do not require Environment Clearance (EC) as it is a project for drinking water purpose.
The minister’s letter had evoked strong response in the coastal state with opposition parties and NGOs questioning failure of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to protect Mahadayi river.
Rodrigues said that Goans need not panic about the letter as “it has no value considering the fact that Goa’s contempt petition is pending before the SC.”
“There is a prayer before the supreme court. We have filed contempt petition before the SC. If they start the work again on the project, we will approach the supreme court again,” he said.
Rodrigues conceded that the constructions over Mahadayi river by Karnataka has resulted in diversion of water, due to which there is an impact on ecology of Goa which is located downstream.
He said that the team of Goa WRD officials has recently inspected the project and detailed report has been prepared which will be submitted to the SC when petition will come for hearing next month.
“Goa is fighting a legal battle with Karnataka as they have been forcefully diverting the water. Time and again, we have brought it to the notice of SC. The Apex Court has given order preventing further construction,” he pointed out.
The minister said that no one should be worried about diversion of Mahadayi river water. “The matter is in the Court and we are positive that we will get justice,” he added.