All-party delegation can meet PM over Mahadayi dispute: Goa CM

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Panaji, Jan 28 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said if required, an all-party delegation from the state can meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the Mahadayi river dispute.

The chief minister was responding to a calling attention motion raised by the Opposition over the issue of diversion of Mahadayi river water by neighbouring Karnataka.

The House witnessed a heated discussion on the issue, with Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai and Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte questioning the state government's seriousness in the matter.

To this, Sawant said, 'The interest of state is not above the party or any other aspects. We will not compromise on the issue.' If required, the state government is ready to take an all-party delegation to meet the Prime Minister to seek his intervention, he said.

Sawant appealed to members of the Opposition and the ruling party to maintain unanimity on the issue cutting across the party ideologies.

The chief minister admitted that Karnataka had started diverting water from the river, despite the fact that Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) filed by Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are pending before the Supreme Court.

Earlier, State Water Resources Department Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues said, 'Goa has lost the water but not the case.' The coastal state will successfully fight the case before the Apex Court, he said.

Sardesai demanded that the lawyers representing Goa in the SC should be changed, as they allowed the notification of award of Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal on their own without consulting the state.

Khaunte further claimed the diversion of water will not only increase the salinity of the river in Goa, it will also adversely impact the state's flora and fauna.

The MLA also demanded that the state should draw plan to utilise Mahadayi river water. PTI RPS ARU ARU