Parrikar blames media for blowing up Mhadei, beef controversy

Panaji, Jan 10:  Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday squarely blamed the media for unnecessarily raking up the Mhadei water dispute and beef shortage controversies.

The Chief Minister downplayed the water dispute controversy that was triggered following his letter to party colleague in Karnataka B.S. Yeddyurappa in which he offered to discuss sharing of drinking water on “humanitarian grounds”.

“Mhadei is neither my issue, nor Goa’s issue… Mhadei issue has been created by you (media),” Parrikar said.

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently battling a dispute at a central Tribunal over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the waters of the Mhadei river, through which Karnataka aims to divert water from the Mhadei basin to the nearby basin on the Malaprabha river.

Mhadei also known as the Mandovi river, is considered as a lifeline in the northern parts of the state. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji.

The river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka and over 50 km in Goa.

Parrikar’s letter to Yeddyurappa, ahead of the Karnataka assembly polls triggered popular protests both in Goa as well as in the southern state.

The Chief Minister also accused the media of raking up another controversy over shortage of beef in the state, that caused after beef traders went on strike for four days accusing cow vigilante groups and police officials of harassment.

The strike was called off on Tuesday, after the state police were instructed to provide protection to slaughtered beef consignments imported from Karnataka.

“What issue was there? You have to ask those so-called animal welfare (activists). I have told police that they have to go by law. The legal provisions says, that if there are documents, there is proper billing, you cannot stop anyone from importing,” Parrikar said.

“I do not see it as an issue as you see it. You have wrong eyes, coloured. My issue is law and order…” the Chief Minister added.