Uste-Sattari: Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA from Marcaim and former deputy chief minister Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar Sunday warned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that the people of Goa will teach it a lesson during the 2022 assembly election if its government fails to resolve the Mhadei water diversion issue.
The MGP commenced the Mhadei Bachao Jan-Jagruti Abhiyan, a campaign to save River Mhadei, on Sunday at Uste in Sattari taluka, the entry point of the river in Goa, by performing ‘puja’ of the river.
Addressing party workers after formally launching the campaign, Dhavalikar questioned why the Pramod Sawant-led state government has been unable to resolve the Mhadei water diversion issue despite the BJP government rule at the Centre and in Karnataka.
“Every Goan must know the importance of River Mhadei and come together to save the lifeline of Goa. Attempts being made by the Karnataka government to divert water from the Mhadei basin are a serious matter. Thus, all political parties including the ruling BJP must keep the issue above politics,” he said. He also congratulated and thanked Governor Satya Pal Malik for considering the Mhadei issue a serious one and for appealing to everyone to come together to save the river.
The MGP leader said that the water of River Mhadei is being used in 1,650 square kilometre area in Goa and added that if Karnataka succeeds in diverting its water to the Hubbali-Dharwad district as per the neighbouring state’s plan, it will affect the entire North Goa district. “This is just the beginning. If the BJP government does not take the Mhadei issue seriously, then MGP will commence a mass movement after a month to save the river,” he said.
Appealing to all the people to consider the Mhadei issue as a serious one, Dhavalikar warned Goans that their existence will be at stake if the river dries up following the planned water diversion by Karnataka.
Working president of MGP Naresh Sawal said that Goans must not allow diversion of water from the Mhadei basin. “Water diversion from Mhadei by Karnataka will severely impact the people and the flora and fauna,” he said.
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party president Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar, other party office bearers and workers were present on the occasion.
Leaders of Progressive Front of Goa Hrudaynath Shirodkar and Mahesh Mhambrey were also present to extend their support to the movement started by the MGP.