CM Parrikar’s letter was not addressed to the Karnataka government, but to BJP leader Yeddyurappa.

Goa CM writes to Yeddyurappa to settle Mahadayi row Siddaramaiah terms it poll gimmick
news Controversy Friday, December 22, 2017 - 09:09

The Mahadayi water sharing dispute is a contentious issue in Karnataka, which decades of protests could not resolve, and political parties have often lapped up the farmers’ agitation to gain votes in several consecutive elections.

In a bid to woo voters of North Karnataka, BJP State President Yeddyurappa released a letter written by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, which stated that the Goa government is willing to hold talks regarding the Mahadayi water sharing dispute.

However, CM Parrikar’s letter is not addressed to the Karnataka government, but to Yeddyurappa.

“I am in receipt of your letter dated December 20, 2017 pertaining to the utilization of 7.56 TMC of water from Mahadayi River for drinking water needs in drought-prone Karnataka… The Goa government is willing to consider the request to work out an amicable settlement strictly for drinking water only to drought-prone areas,” Parrikar’s letter to Yeddyurappa reads.

The Goa CM, however, has not sent any letter to the Karnataka government. Reacting to Parrikar’s letter, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called it a “political gimmick”.

“The Prime Minister refused to mediate and settle the dispute when a delegation had visited him in New Delhi recently. Now that elections are nearing, Amit Shah is holding meetings between Karnataka and Goa representatives. In the meeting with the Prime Minister, none of the BJP leaders had said a word, including Goa CM Manohar Parrikar. We want the Goa government to submit a written assurance to the tribunal and the Karnataka government,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah added.

Stating that he welcomes any attempt to resolve the issue, the Chief Minister said that he was willing to participate in talks if Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls a meeting of Chief Ministers of Maharasthra, Goa and Karnataka.

“Who is Yeddyurappa to make this announcement? It is just a political gimmick. Let the Prime Minister call the meeting of Chief Ministers immediately. I am willing to meet Goa Chief Minister,” he added.

A team of BJP leaders, led by Yeddyurappa had met Goa Chief Minister Parrikar and BJP National President Amit Shah in Delhi on Wednesday in New Delhi.     

Meanwhile, Goa Water Resource Minister, Vinay Palyekar tweeted on Thursday, saying he will not allow the water sharing to happen.

“Our party & my WRD depts stand remains unchanged on Mahadayi. We are committed to protect our mother Mahadayi and protect each drop of water. We are committed to protect Goem Goem Goemkarponn to take Goa forward (sic),” the Minister tweeted.

Karnataka is seeking the release of 7.56 tmcft water by Goa from Mahadayi river for the Kalasa-Banduri project. The project aims at improving drinking water supply to Hubballi-Dharwad cities and also to Belagavi and Gadag districts in North Karnataka.

The Kalasa-Banduri nala diversion project involves construction of barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi river, to divert 7.56 tmcft of water to the Malaprabha river which supplies water to the nearby region.

In September 2016, the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal had asked Chief Ministers of the three states to resolve the dispute amicably by holding talks.

The Karnataka CM, in June this year, had written to Manohar Parrikar, requesting a meeting to hold talks regarding the issue. However, the letter was not acknowledged by the Goa government and so far, no talks were held.


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