‘Amit Shah will find a way to resolve Mhadei dispute’

Panaji: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President Amit Shah will resolve the Mhadei inter-state water dispute crisis, Goa BJP President Vinay Tendulkar said on Sunday.

“He must be having a solution. He will find a way…,” Tendulkar told a press conference when asked to respond to a statement by Shah in Karnataka last week where he had assured voters in the poll-bound state, that if voted to power, the BJP would resolve the long-standing inter-state dispute.

When asked if Shah’s assurance to a poll-bound state, especially when a central Tribunal hearing the dispute for several years was likely to deliver its verdict soon, was fair, Tendulkar said: “You should ask him”.

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently involved in a dispute in the Tribunal over controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across Mhadei river, through which Karnataka aims to divert water from the Mhadei basin to nearby basin on the Malaprabha river.

The Tribunal hearing is expected to deliver a verdict in few months.

Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is considered as a lifeline in the northern parts of the coastal state. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

The river course is 28.8 km in Karnataka, and over 50 km in Goa.

After a meeting with Shah in December 2017, Parrikar in a letter to senior Karnataka BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa, had offered to discuss sharing of drinking water from the Mhadei river to Karnataka on humanitarian grounds.

The letter had evoked sharp criticism from his own cabinet colleagues as well as the opposition and civil society groups who accused the Goa Chief Minister of selling out on the state’s natural resources only to help the BJP ahead of the Karnataka Assembly polls.