Panaji, Aug 1 (IANS): Goa officials are taking photos and making videos of an under-construction dam in Karnataka over fears that it may cut off water supply to the state, said a minister Wednesday.
The controversial dam is being erected on the Mhadei river in the Kalsa area of Karnataka's Belgaum district.
In a written reply tabled in the Goa legislative assembly, Water Resources Minister Dayanand Mandrekar said the inter-state dispute between Goa and Karnataka over Mhadei river's water was already pending before a central government-appointed tribunal.
"The ongoing works of the state of Karnataka of constructing an interconnecting channel between the Kalsa Nallah and Malaprabha river being against the interests of Goa, the same are being regularly monitored by the officers of WR (Water Resources) Department, Goa, by site visits, photographing and video recording the activities etc., to know the consequential effects of the ongoing works to Goa," he said.
Mandrekar said the hearings at the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal had not started because the tribunal, chaired by retired Supreme court judge, Justice J.M. Panchal, was facing logistical difficulties.
"The tribunal could not take up the application of Goa as the office accommodation for the tribunal members, staffing for the tribunal etc., are still not in place," Mandrekar said.
The Mhadei river (called Mandovi in Goa) originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa. While the river travels 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km long in Goa.
Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin.
Both the Goa government and civil society groups in the state have said that diverting the waters of the river would sound a death knell to the northern areas of the state, which are dependent on the river for fishing, irrigation and potable water supply.