K'taka’s statements on Mhadei issue are poll-related: Minister



In the ongoing war of words between the leaders of two BJP-ruled States over Mhadei water diversion, Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Tuesday said that Karnataka’s statements on the issue are poll-related.  

“They are in election mode. Any statement on Mhadei is an election speech for his electorate… We will have the final say. Goa will not allow diversion of Mhadei water at any cost,” Godinho said.

The minister was replying to media queries about Karnataka Chief Minister Basaavaraj Bommai’s dig at Goa Legislative Assembly’s resolution to oppose Mhadei diversion. “The resolution has no value. We have begun the work legally and based on the order of the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal,” Bommai said on Monday.

On the previous day, former CM Jagadish Shettar termed Goa’s efforts as “weak” to fight the legal battle against Karnataka citing Tribunal’s order allowing water diversion.  

Anticipating future wars could be for water, Godinho claimed Goa-Karnataka’s row over Mhadei is the latest example. “Keep one thing in mind, future wars will be for water. We have reached that stage. This is like a war and we will keep fighting. It is not a political issue. We are all united to get justice for Goa. If Mhadei water does not flow into Goa, we will not be Bhangrachem Goem but Sukhlelem Goem,” he said.

The State Assembly on Thursday, January 19 unanimously resolved to vehemently object to any attempt at the out-of-basin diversion of water from the Mhadei river basin. A House Committee headed by Goa’s water resources minister Subhash Shirodkar has also been set up to take up the matter with the central government.

Meanwhile, at a food processing conference on Tuesday, Godinho, also minister for Industries emphasized increasing the production of cashews and its export while utilizing large tracts of fallow land. “There are good products in agriculture and food processing that we can explore and boost production for exporting as well. We have exotic varieties of mangoes, cashew and other agricultural produce. We see fallow land everywhere, it can be used for cultivation… People should take advantage of government schemes,” he said.

The minister also proposed exporting authentic Goan sweets, pickles and other products internationally; for which he urged the stakeholders to elevate their process to the international level and in an eco-friendly way. 

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