Mumbai (The Hindu): Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar will preside over an all party meeting here on Monday to discuss and decide the stand of State government over water sharing of Mahadayi river, in view of the suggestion made recently by the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT), Delhi, to reach a consensus for an out-of-court settlement.
Three civil society members, namely: former Minister and head of Mahadayi bachav Andolan (MBA), a civil society group spearheading the cause of protecting Goa’s interest regarding waters of Mahaday river; Nandakumar Kamat, Assistant Professor in the Department of Botony at Goa University; and environmental activist Rajendra Kerkar, have been invited for the meeting, which is to be attended by Goa Minister for Water Resources Dayanand Mandrekar, and Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Pratapsing Rane.
Mr. Kamat, who is also a Member of Goa State Planning Board, told The Hindu on Saturday that he will attend the meeting in his capacity as an ex-member of State appointed Panel of Experts (PoEs) on Mahadayi Water diversion 1999-2000, as well as one of the PoEs appointed for utilisation of water resources of Goa’s four rivers, including Mahadayi which turns into Mandovi upon reaching Goa, in 2001-2002. The latter, under the chairmanship of then Chief Engineer of Goa Water Resources Department, submitted a comprehensive report, to put up Goa’s case on the Mahadayi dispute, before the Central authorities and later the MWDT.
On July 27, in a major setback for Karnataka, the MWDT rejected its claim to divert 7.56 thousand million cubic feet (TMCFT) water from the Mahadayi river basin to Malaprabha river, for the needs of people living in border regions of north Karnataka.
Departing from its earlier stand, refuting an out-of-court settlement, the Goa government informed the MWDT that it is ready for talks with Karnataka and Maharashtra over the dispute, as suggested by the Tribunal. With this, Karnataka's attempt to find an out-of-court settlement to the dispute gained momentum, and a meeting of Chief Ministers of all the three States is scheduled soon, following an initiative by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
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