Panaji: Former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi’s intervention in 1971, which had led to the resolution of the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, could have been a model to emulate in order to amicably resolve the ongoing Mhadei interstate water dispute, AICC secretary in-charge of Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Saturday.
Rao said Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have played the role of mediator in the river water sharing dispute between Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, to resolve the issue faster and amicably.
“The other mechanism would have been the Prime Minister calling everyone and resolving the problem, if he has the capacity to do it. He did not do it,” Rao said.
At present, all three states have approached the Supreme Court to appeal against the provisions of the award given by a central government tribunal last in 2018.
Rao also cited former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi’s intervention in 1971, which he said had led to the resolution between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the waters of the Mhadei river. “Indira Gandhi had settled the matter between the states,” Rao said.
The former state president of the Karnataka Congress party also said that when it comes to a sensitive and important issue like inter-state river water sharing, each state had to press for the rights of its people and political party affiliations should take a backseat. “Each state will have to fight for its own rights,” Rao said.
Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river in Goa and Mahadayi in Karnataka, is considered a lifeline for the northern parts of Goa. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.
While the river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is over 50 km in length in the state Goa.
Goa and Karnataka are battling out a two decade-long dispute over the sharing of the Mhadei waters.