Sunday , 26 May 2019

GFP for providing only ‘limited’ drinking water to K’taka

MARGAO: The Goa Forward Party (GFP), coalition partner of the nine-month-old Manohar Parrikar-led government, on Thursday, asked the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to take away the Water Resources  portfolio from the party MLA if the government decides to give Mhadei drinking water  beyond certain acceptable “limits” to the Karnataka state.

In a hurriedly addressed press conference, the president of Goa Forward Party and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai  said, “I am  telling the government that it should not go beyond the limits. Can give the required drinking water to  Karnataka state, but not for irrigation purpose. If the government gives more than the required drinking water to Karnataka state, we do not want the water resources portfolio. Let the water resources portfolio be taken away from us.”

“We do not want to be a party to sell out Goa or  Goa be cheated. I do not want first to be associated and be part of  anything that  dilute the main  agenda of the  GFP  Goy – Goykar and  Goykarponn,” he  thundered.

It may be recalled here that a meeting of  the central BJP leaders  and  the  Goa  Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was held to  resolve the  issue of Mhadei river water, by providing drinking water to the people of  Karnataka.

However, the Goa government was non-committal on it.

Clearing his stand on the Mhadei water issue,   the GFP chief said  that  if there is any understanding, and the quantity of drinking water is increased,  the GFP is not interested  in the water resource portfolio.

“We are with the Chief Minister Parrikar upto the point and not beyond that. Goans fought the  Mhadei  battle. The House has adopted collective resolutions. CM Parrikar and the team of  legal experts  fought to  protect the Madhei water. All this cannot be forgotten in just one go, just because there are elections in Karnataka. Goans cannot afford to lose it, this is my stand, the stand which  I had taken then  when I was in the opposition,” Sardesai said.

Asked whether he habours any doubts on his own government that it would allow the more than the required quantity of drinking water from the Mhadei river to be pumped out, Sardesai avoided a direct answer, and said that  India is a federal country and  BJP is ruling at the Centre and hence there can be  pressure on the government run by  BJP Chief Minister Parrikar.

“Drinking water can be provided to  Karnataka by pumping it out from  Mhadei, but it should be strictly limited to drinking only.  The  government has to have  a mechanism in place to monitor the quantity of water pumped out. Early morning CM phoned me and informed that the Goa government can give  0.3  thousand million cubic feet  of drinking water from the Mhadei river to Karnataka. I told him that that it should only be restricted to drinking purpose,” he added.

Sardesai also said that  he has cleared his stand on  river nationalization that  Goans  rivers cannot be the  ways for coal  transportations and that the  Goan rivers cannot be the  sanctuaries for  casinos. He said that his stand on the coal  transportation is that “it should be done only through containerization and not in exposed way.”