Panaji, Jan 3 Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar called the Supreme Court's decision Monday directing the Karnataka government file a fresh petition with the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal in connection with the water dispute with Goa a "victory from the jaws of defeat".
"Karnataka has been asked by the Supreme Court to withdraw the SLP. This is a great victory for Goans which has been snatched from the jaws of defeat," Parrikar said, while speaking at a function here. The apex court had allowed the neighbouring state of Karnataka to file a fresh petition with the Tribunal, while asking it to withdraw its special leave petition filed last year.
The Karnataka government had filed the SLP, after the Supreme Court in August last year, had dismissed the Tribunal had dismissed its petition to released 7 TMC water from the Mhadei river, which flows into Goa from Karnataka into the Kalsa-Bhandura canal, which had sparked protests across the Southern state.
Goa and Karnataka are currently battling out a dispute over the latter's controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the waters of the Mhadei river at a central tribunal. Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of the state. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji.
While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km in length in Goa. Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in North Karnataka.
"It was neither easy, nor cheap to re-establish it (Goa's claim over the river water). I think it was important for the survival as well as the future of Goa... We won because we put up a fight," Parrikar said, while also blaming the actions of earlier governments, which he claimed allowed Goa's claims over the river water to be diluted.