Goa [India], January 31 (ANI): Goa Public Works Department minister Nilesh Cabral on Monday refuted a statement of Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the Mhadei river water dispute with Karnataka had been resolved in favor of the southern state.
While speaking to the press on Monday, the Goa minister refused to believe that the Union Home Minister's statement was backed by the Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Cabral said, "Our CM has not given any consent to divert Mhadei river water. I know he (Sawant) will never do it. I don't know what Union Home Minister Amit Shah is talking about."
He said a delegation from the state would ask about this statement when they next meet Shah.
When asked whether he condemned what Shah said, Cabral asserted, "Of course, I condemn the statement. We are not against water usage within the basin but will never allow the water to be diverted outside."
Addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) 'Jana Sankalp Yatre' in Belagavi in Karnataka on Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, "I want to tell you (people) that BJP, by resolving the long-standing dispute between both states, has given Mhadei water to Karnataka and, thereby, ensured farmers in several districts here are benefited."
Goa and Karnataka are battling out a two-decade-long dispute over sharing the Mhadei waters. While the river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is over 50 km in length in Goa.
Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river in Goa and Mahadayi in Karnataka, is considered 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.
Earlier on January 12, a delegation of the Goa government, led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant met the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital, over the Mhadei river issue.
The delegation urged for the immediate constitution of the Mhadei Water Management Authority as given in the award and also urged for the withdrawal approval given to Karnataka's detailed project report (DPR) for the disputed Kalsa-Bhanduri dam project. (ANI)