Supreme Court order on Mhadei river a positive sign for Goa

Panaji: Supreme Court order on Mhadei river : Goa Advocate General Devidas Pangam said the Supreme Court’s order against Karnataka in the Mhadei water dispute case is a positive sign for the coastal state on Tuesday.

According to AG, as per the Supreme Court order on Monday, Karnataka cannot divert river water without obtaining necessary permission.
“Whatever the Supreme Court has said in its order is a positive sign for us,” Devidas Pangam said.

Last month, Goa’s chief wildlife warden issued a notice to Karnataka, asking the neighboring state to stop the diversion of water from the wildlife sanctuary.

“It’s about how water cannot be diverted from wildlife sanctuaries. We have said that the water cannot be diverted as per Section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Act. Karnataka will not be in a position to divert water if the Chief Wildlife Warden orders in our favour. This is an important issue,” he said.

“Secondly, the Supreme Court has reiterated its order in 2020 that unless Karnataka gets all necessary permissions, it cannot proceed with its works,” he said.

“Karnataka has told the Supreme Court that they have not received permission and the work has not started. While hearing this, the court gave us freedom to apply again if needed,” Pangam said.

According to him, the Supreme Court has fixed the final hearing of the matter in July, but if Karnataka goes ahead with the construction activities, Goa is at liberty to appeal to the Supreme Court.

He said that henceforth, “water diversion will not be possible for Karnataka as the state has become legally strong”. “We are taking steps… wherever we want to block Karnataka by taking permission from forest or wildlife, we will do it,” he said.

“Now, we have to ensure that these proceedings initiated at various levels are taken to a logical conclusion and in a positive direction,” Pangam said.

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