Rs 300 Cr allocation to Goa, compensation for Mhadei compromise: AAP
Panaji, Feb 2 (IANS) The Rs 300 crore announced on Monday by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech to Goa for celebration of the 60th anniversary of Goa’s liberation is mere compensation for compromising on the Mhadei water dispute with Karnataka, the Aam Aadmi Party in Goa alleged on Tuesday.
“The Rs 300 crore announced by the Centre for Goa is nothing but a compensation for the compromise on the Mhadei issue,” Goa AAP convenor Rahul Mahambre told reporters after a party delegation met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at the latter’s official residence in Panaji.
“The Chief Minister had announced that he would lead an all-party delegation to New Delhi to discuss the Mhadei issue with the central government. We have demanded that as AAP is an active political party in Goa with mass support, we should be allowed to participate in the delegation too,” Mahambre said.
The Mhadei dispute controversy has spurted once again this week, after a former state government counsel in the Supreme Court said that he had been directed by the government to not object to Karnataka’s plea in the apex court in 2019 seeking notification of the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal.
The subsequent gazette notification formalised the terms of the Tribunal’s award, which have already been challenged by the Goa government through a special leave petition in the Supreme Court.
“This government has compromised on the Mhadei issue. The river is regarded as mother in Goa because of its water that flows through most of North Goa,” Mahambre said.
The Opposition has already demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, accusing him of compromising Goa’s interests in the river water dispute with Karnataka.
Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river in Goa and Mahadayi in Karnataka, is considered as a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.
While the river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is over 50 km in length in Goa. Goa and Karnataka are battling out a two decade-long dispute over the sharing of the Mhadei waters.