Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Mhadei hearing flowing at snail's pace, members in dark over PRAWAH, House committee meetings

VIBHA VERMA | MAY 09, 2024, 01:21 AM IST
Mhadei hearing flowing at snail's pace, members   in dark over PRAWAH, House committee meetings


The star campaigners of the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah chose to remain silent on specific issues concerning Goa including the contentious Mhadei river dispute between Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. 

However, it's not just their silence that raised concern among the opposition and the Mhadei Bachao activists; there's also unease about the perceived sluggish pace of proceedings by the Mhadei Water Management Authority (PRAWAH) and the House Committee.

PRAWAH, apart from an initial meeting on February 13, has not convened any further sessions – literally a forgotten issue amidst preparations for Lok Sabha polls.

Sources told The Goan that the first meeting primarily dealt with administrative matters, with minimal discussion on the core subject. 

Similarly, the House Committee did not convene its scheduled meeting on February 29 and has not announced plans for future meetings.

Minister for Water Resources Subhash Shirodkar attributed the delay in meetings to restrictions imposed by the election code. “PRAWAH Chairman has not communicated the scheduling of the next meeting…usually when its members are here, they meet at the Sinchai Bhavan in Porvorim,” he said responding to a question on the delayed hearings.

Ironically, PRAWAH does not even have an office with the minister indicating that suitable premises are still being identified.

During the Budget sessions of the Assembly, Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardesai criticized the government for failing to resolve the Mhadei issue and demanded that the legal team be summoned to Goa for discussions with the House Committee, of which he is a member. No such actions have materialized so far.

“Dissolve the House Committee before it becomes an absolute farce. The utter callousness manner in which Goa government is handling the matter is shocking and humiliating surrender to Karnataka," Sardesai lamented.

The scheme titled Mahadayi Water Management Scheme, 2023 framed to constitute the PRAWAH was notified on May 22, 2023 while the Union government had notified it to give effect to the decisions of the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal, dated August 14, 2018. 

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