CM: no out-of-court settlement on Mhadei

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Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said the Goa government is not ready for an out-of-court settlement with Karnataka on the crucial issue of diversion of Mhadei river water.

Speaking to the media at his official residence in Panaji, the Chief Minister admitted that the water level of River Mhadei has decreased due to the diversion of water by Karnataka.

“We are not ready for any kind of out-of-court settlement on the Mhadei river dispute. Our demand is that Karnataka, which has diverted our water, should immediately release it. I am fully aware that the water flow in Mhadei has decreased,” he said.

Sawant said the Goa government has already challenged the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s award and also filed a contempt petition against Karnataka for diverting water from the Mhadei basin. “Our petitions are pending before the Supreme Court. We will fight it out there,” he said.

The Chief Minister said he had a discussion with the BJP’s Goa desk in-charge C T Ravi during his visit to Goa. “I have firmly put forth before him that Karnataka has diverted Mhadei river water,” he said.

Sawant denied having any discussion on Mhadei issue with the special representative of Karnataka government Shankar Gouda Patil, who met the Chief Minister last Wednesday.

ZP elections likely to be held in Dec

Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said the elections for the two Zilla Panchayats may be held before December 18.

He told the media that the government has suggested a tentative date to the state election commission. “The state election commission will fix a date for the ZP polls,” he said.