Former Goa minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dayanand Mandrekar on Friday equated Karnataka’s attitude on the Mahadayi river dispute with that of epic Mahabharata’s Duryodhana, who refused to give any territory to the Pandavas and “bullied everyone”.
The former water resources minister was addressing a gathering of former legislators on the Mahadayi water diversion issue, where Goa Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar was present.
“Goa and Karnataka are neighbours. In our village, we maintain good relationship with our neighbours as we rely on them in good and bad times,” said Mandrekar, who was a minister in the Manohar Parrikar-led cabinet between 2012 and 2017.
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Goa and Karnataka have been embroiled in a dispute for several years now over the distribution of the Mahadayi river water. Goa has taken objection to Karnataka’s proposal to construct dams on Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of the Mahadayi river.
“But looking at the attitude of Karnataka, I recall Satyayug. Duryodhan had said that he will not part with even a needle point of territory for Pandavas. He was bullying everyone,” the BJP leader said, adding that the neighbouring state should understand that people are living in a democracy.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) recently approved a detailed project report (DPR) submitted by Karnataka for the construction of the two dams, to which the Goa government has objected.
The Goa government has contended that Karnataka cannot divert water from the river as it passes through the Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located downstream in North Goa.
Earlier this week, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said that the state government is making efforts on legal, technical and political fronts and leaving no stone unturned to win the battle for Mahadayi river water.
(With Agency inputs)