Other States

Mahadayi row: objection only to transfer from deficit basin, says Parrikar

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Wednesday that no State can object to another drawing water from a river that traverses through three States, and that Goa is only objecting to “Karnataka’s plans for transfer of water from the deficit basin of Mahadayi to Malaprabha”.

Responding to questions on the controversy over his letter to Karnataka BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa on the water-sharing issue, at a Cabinet press briefing at the Secretariat, Mr. Parrikar said, “If someone thinks that Karnataka cannot take water, he is living in a fool’s paradise. He doesn’t understand law. When a river flows from Karnataka, how can the State be denied water? But it cannot take the water to some other basin; it has to use the water in that area.”

Water deficit

The state has submitted documentary evidence to the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal that the Mahadayi basin had around 115 TMC (thousand million cubic-feet) water. The actual requirement in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa is about 145 TMC, and hence there is a deficit, the Chief Minister said. “Therefore, water cannot be transferred to some other river. That is the point before the Tribunal.”

In his letter to Mr. Yeddyurappa, Mr. Parrikar had agreed to consider Karnataka’s demand for drinking water for North Karnataka “on humanitarian grounds”. On Wednesday, he said, “If you try to speculate about my letter, that is not my concern. I am sorry. I am very clear about this, that I have written a perfectly valid letter in the interest of the State,” he said. He also accused some sections of the media of slandering him and the government.

Mr. Parrikar had also faced criticism from Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar of the Goa Forward party and ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

Out-of-court talks

The Chief Minister weighed in on the assurance given by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar that Mr. Parrikar had called for out-of-court talks with Mr. Yeddyurappa. Mr. Kumar had responded to a Zero Hour notice raised by Karnataka MP S.P. Muddahanumegowda. Mr. Parrikar said, “Have I made a statement? If they bait each other what do I do? I am not responsible for demands someone else makes. I have explained my stand to you clearly time and again.”

He also said that none of the 21 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which have publicly demanded that he withdraw the letter, had approached him, but that he would reply to the NGOs if they write to him based on his letter.

Mr. Parrikar admitted that he had received a letter from Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and it spoke about tri-partite talks between Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, and transfer of water from one basin to other.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:57:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mahadayi-row-objection-only-to-transfer-from-deficit-basin-says-parrikar/article22364951.ece

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