Panaji, Sep 12 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday denied that he was scheduled to meet his Karnataka counterpart B.S. Yediyurappa to reach an out-of-court settlement on the Mhadei inter-state water dispute.
He also said that the state government would not make even the smallest compromise on the two decade old Mhadei water sharing dispute, which is currently pending in the Supreme Court.
“I am not scheduled to meet anyone and there is no such programme,” Sawant said on Thursday, two days after Yediyurappa claimed in Bengaluru that he was scheduled to meet the Goa CM to broach talks for an out-of-court negotiation of the dispute.
Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi, who hails from Karnataka, had earlier this week also urged Sawant to meet Yediyurappa, to work out a mutually negotiated settlement of the Mhadei issue, outside of the purview of the Supreme Court and the Mhadei interstate water dispute tribunal.
Sawant, however, denied receiving any request or proposal from Joshi on the subject.
“There is no thought of an out-of-court settlement. We are unwilling to make even the smallest compromise on the Mhadei issue. We are firm on our stated position in the Supreme Court,” Sawant said.
The Mhadei, or Mandovi, river is known as the lifeline of the northern parts of Goa. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea at Panaji, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.
The Tribunal hearing the over two-decade-old dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra over water sharing had, in its award in August 2018, allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) from the Mhadei river basin (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka.
Maharashtra has been allotted 1.33 TMC. Both Karnataka and Goa have publicly expressed reservations about the Tribunal’s award and have also approached the SC for relief.
The Goa government in a petition to the Court has also accused Karnataka of “illegally” building infrastructure in its jurisdiction, to divert additional water from the Mhadei river basin.