Wednesday, opposition parties criticised the BJP-led Goa government over diverting the Mhadei river to Karnataka, alleging the government was “not serious” about the issue.
During Question Hour on the second day of the monsoon session of the Goa Legislative Assembly, opposition MLAs questioned the government about its efforts to halt Karnataka government projects in the Mhadei basin.
“The government does not take the Mhadei issue seriously. Nobody knows who the members of PRAWAH are. There is no House Committee meeting scheduled. Will the Central government withdraw the Karnataka DPR [Detailed Project Report]?” queried Yuri Alemao of the Congress, the Assembly’s Leader of the Opposition.
In a written response to a question posed by the Opposition MLAs regarding the status of Mhadei, Minister for Water Resources Subhash Shirodkar stated that the Central Government had notified the Mahadayi Water Management Scheme, 2023, also known as PRAWAH (Progressive River Authority for Welfare And Harmony), on May 22, 2023, in order to implement the decisions of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal.
Vijai Sardesai, leader of the Goa Forwards Party, asked, “Is the government serious about the Mhadei issue?” Why is the Goa government not contesting Karnataka’s increased gradient? I exhort the government to obtain a stay on the award, as Goa’s position is currently untenable.”
In response to the Opposition, Subhash Shirodkar of the BJP stated, “The second House Committee meeting will be conducted immediately following the conclusion of the Assembly Session. I am personally observing every aspect of Mhadei. The federal government will appoint members of the PRAWAH committee.”
The Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant, stated that there will be no compromise on the Mhadei issue.
Goa and Karnataka are at odds over water diversion from the Mhadei River. In December 2022, the Central Water Commission (CWC) approved the Karnataka government’s detailed project report (DPR) for the Kalasa-Banduri project, which aims to divert the waters of the west-flowing streams of Kalasa and Banduri, which are tributaries of the west-flowing river Mhadei, to the east-flowing Malaprabha river.