Goa willing to consider amicable solution: Parrikar

(With fresh inputs, including Goa CM’s reax) Bengaluru, Dec 21 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said his government is willing to consider an amicable settlement with Karnataka on sharing inter-state Mahadayi river water to meet the drinking needs of drought prone areas in northern parts of the state.
Yesterday’s meeting mediated by Shah and developments that have followed to resolve the dispute comes at a time when Karnataka is gearing for assembly polls early next year.
Yeddyurappa’s move is seen as an attempt to protect BJP’s interest during the assembly polls.
The Congress and JDS have been seeking to corner BJP, accusing its government in Goa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not being sympathetic to the state’s drinking water needs.
Karnataka is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water by Goa from the river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project, being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag in the state’s northern region.
Parrikar said his government understands that access to drinking water is a basic human need.
Parrikar said the discussion shall be without prejudice to Goa’s rights and contentions before the tribunal, none of which are even touched by the letter.
Earlier, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah dubbed the BJP’s efforts to resolve the Mahadayi river issue as a "political gimmick" ahead of assembly elections in the state.
Siddaramaiah said he welcomed any attempt to resolve the issue and was ready to participate if the prime minister calls a meeting of chief ministers of all three riparian states — Maharashtra being the other — to resolve the issue.
The Karnataka government had earlier petitioned the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal which in its July 27 last year interim order rejected the state’s plea.

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