Leaders of Goa Congress on Sunday protested against the environment clearance granted to Kalasa-Banduri project to divert the water of Mhadei river alleging that it is illegal and was done in view of the Karnataka by-polls.
Speaking about the protest with ANI, former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat said: "Our fight is against the illegal letter given by the Ministry of Environment headed by Prakash Javadekar to the state of Karnataka permitting them to divert the water. Mhadei river starts in Karnataka but is the lifeline of Goa. They issued the letter even though the matter is sub-judice."
He alleged that the Centre and Karnataka government hatched a conspiracy to issue the latter in view of the Karnataka by-elections.
Congress leaders and workers sat on a protest and raised slogans against the government's decision.
"We are here at Jantar Mantar as a last resort. The BJP-led central government has done a gross injustice to the people of Goa. They have destroyed the country, the economy, system, and democracy. Now, the BJP government is trying to destroy the ecology and environment of Goa," AICC General Secretary Luizinho Faleiro said.
He said the Mhadei river is a sacred river for the people of Goa.
"We worship it. It involved nearly 60 per cent of the population of Goa. The Central government issued the environment clearance without consulting Goa, Maharashtra or Karnataka. The Government of India has no business to give this clearance when the matter is being adjudicated in the Supreme Court," Faleiro said.
Earlier, Javadekar had granted consent to Karnataka's Kalasa-Bhandura project, which is undertaken by the Karnataka government aims to improve drinking water supply to the Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag districts.
The sharing of the waters of the Mhadei river has been the cause of a dispute between the governments of Karnataka and Goa for over two decades.
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