The Goa government is all set to file a petition to Water Disputes Tribunal in New Delhi on Friday against the government of Maharashtra over proposed Virdi Large Minor Irrigation Project, to declare the project illegal and order the Maharashtra government against proceeding with the project. Advisor to Goa Water Resource Department P. J. Kamat told The Hindu on Wednesday that the draft petition had been cleared by Law Department. The project, he said, includes canals, dams built to divert the waters of river Mhadei and its tributaries and as such Goa is opposed to Maharashtra’s proceedings with any planning, construction and water regulation of any projects.
After its opposition to water diversion and projects by diverting waters of Mhadei by Karnataka government at Khalsa, presently before the Tribunal, Goa will now take on Maharashtra for its plans to divert waters of Valvanti river (sub-tributary of Mhadei) at source by diverting water flow from Virdi to the adjoining basin of Tillari river without obtaining any permissions, clearances of licences. Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar, who has been spearheading the campaign opposing the proposed dam said that the Virdi project will hugely affect the whole of Goa in terms of availability of water and it should be objected at all costs. He has warned that flora and fauna of this eco-sensitive area would be destroyed if the diversion was allowed. Local ruling BJP legislator from Sankhali in north Goa backed the government’s move saying the water diversion would have devastating consequences for Goa.