Work on Kalsa canal resumed at Kankumbi


Although in the recent hearing before the Mhadei water dispute tribunal Karnataka's counsel Fali Nariman said that he would ask Karnataka government to stop the ongoing work of the Kalsa canal, Karnatak Neeravati Nigam Ltd. (KNNL) has resumed its unfinished work on the Kalsa canal at Kankumbi that was stopped during the last monsoon season.
It is alleged that KNNL has resumed work this week without obtaining necessary permission from the central water resource department and from the ministry of environment and forests.In 2008, Lingaraj Basavraj Jagajampi of Belgaum had filed a writ petition before the centrally empowered committee about the excavation carried out by KNNL for diverting the Kalsa canal through the notified forest and non-notified forest in the survey no. 59 and 60. Also an FIR was filed by the forester from Kankumbi regarding uprooting and removal of trees in survey no. 60 and also about dumping of soil in the forested area.
"Though 257.74 ha of forest land is required for the Kalsa diversion scheme at Kankumbi, KNNL has not obtained clearances from MoEF," said Chandrakant Shinde of Vivekanand environment awareness brigade, Keri-Sattari, who has visited the area recently.
An official, on conditions of anonymity at the work site in Kankumbi said, "We have not started any new work. Whatever unfinished work of the Kalsa canal excavation and construction was there before the monsoon, we are completing it."
Chief engineer of water resources department of Goa Sandeep Nadkarni, when contacted by TOI, said, "Goa government will bring evidence of ongoing work of the Kalsa canal at Kankumbi to the notice of the Mhadei water dispute tribunal and we will make our best efforts to protect the interest of our state."
At the function in Bicholim on Saturday, North Goa MP Sripad Naik said, "I will ask the state government to take an all party delegation to New Delhi to the President and Prime Minister for protecting the interests of Goa in the matter of Mhadei damming and diversion." [TOI]