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Mhadei legal team working on submission to tribunal

Panjim: In the wake of ongoing Mhadei river water row, the Goa government is set to submit before the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT) that there will be no negotiation and compromise on protecting the river water. The submission will also stress on preventing any adverse ecological implications as a result of diversion of water from the basin. The final hearing before the Tribunal will resume from February 6. The Mhadei legal team, led by Senior Counsel Adv Atmaram Nadkarni, is currently preparing a written submission to be filed before the tribunal on January 15. The final hearing will commence from February 6, with Nadkarni slated to argue first, followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra.“Protecting waters of Mhadei and prevention of any adverse ecological implications are non-negotiable and non-compromisable under any circumstances and the same will be informed to the Tribunal,” sources said.
A team headed by Advocate General Dattaprasad Lawande is working on the environment and ecology angle, while another team is busy with the hydrology water balance demands of the State. Another team is dedicated towards preparing the trans-basin diversion and admissions in cross examination.Following Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s letter to Karnataka BJP Chief BS Yeddurappa agreeing to bilateral talks on water sharing for drinking, unrest sparked in Goa and the neighbouring State. In Goa, activists have opposed Parrikar’s move, which they allege is made with an eye on the forthcoming assembly elections in Karnataka.Sources said that reports like Australian Law reports, Corpus Juris Secondum, Halsbury on Laws, All England Law, American cases, Canada law reports are being studied at length to make Goa’s case strong. “History of water disputes are all being used and relied upon by Goa. Nadkarni is on record while arguing inter-locotary application before that for the first time before the Tribunal all these important issues will be raised,” sources said.Sources said that some of the legal issues are complicated and intertwined with Constitutional issues touching important aspects of inter-state relations under the Indian Federation. “This approach is likely to give a new thrust to all pending water disputes before all tribunals,” sources added.The verdict of the Tribunal will be out in August, when its term is slated to expire. [H]

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