Panaji, Mar 30 (IANS): Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that his government has made a strong case before the Regionally Empowered Committee (Forest) at Bengaluru and in New Delhi to not grant any Forest Clearance to Karnataka to divert water from Mhadei.
Sawant said in his budget speech on Wednesday that ever since he took charge as the Chief Minister, one of the major issues was the Mhadei Water Dispute before him. "We were faced with the Award of the Tribunal, permitting diversion of 3.9 tmc of water outside the basin. I took immediate steps to challenge the Award in the supreme Court," he said.
"We have made a strong case before the Regionally Empowered Committee (Forest) at Bangalore and in New Delhi to not grant any Forest Clearance. The Chief Wildlife warden-Goa has issued notice and ordered stopping all activities of Karnataka," he said.
"As of today, we have favourable orders from the Supreme Court, stopping Karnataka from carrying out any further work or diversion unless permissions under the environmental laws are obtained," he said.
Sawant said that the government has effectively stopped any further construction or diversion of the Mhadei waters. "My government is closely monitoring the activities of Karnataka and issues pending before the various Central government authorities," he said.
He said that the all party delegation met the Union Ministers in New Delhi and made a strong case for the protection of Mhadei. "A house-committee has also been constituted. Help of experts in the field of environment, forests and hydrology is being obtained. All the departments of the government are acting in a synchronised manner," Sawant said.
"We are confident that we shall be able to take all steps to ensure that no damage/diversion takes place. We are successful in agitating our case for Mahadayi Water Management Authority (PRAWAH) which will help us to stop any illegal diversion by Karnataka," Sawant further said.