Kamat denies river talks, says met Yeddyurappa at toilet

Panaji, Feb 9 (Calcutta Tube) Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Tuesday refuted his Karnataka counterpart B.S.Yeddyurrapa’s claim that the two at a meeting in New Delhi last week had decided to solve the Mhadei river dispute through discussions rather than going to a tribunal.

Speaking to reporters here, Kamat said the only time he met Yeddyurappa in New Delhi was outside a toilet.

‘We only met outside the toilet. I was stepping out of the toilet with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Yeddyurappa was going to the toilet. You call that a meeting?’ Kamat said, adding this occurred during the chief ministers’ conference in New Delhi last week.

‘He (Yeddyurappa) said he would like to come to Goa for a meeting. I consider myself a good human being. That much decency I have. So I said ‘you can come to Goa’,’ Kamat said, and added that the Goa government’s stand on the Mhadei issue was absolutely clear.

‘We are not going to enter into dialogue with Karnataka. We will place our arguments with the tribunal appointed by the central government,’ Kamat said.

Media reports quoted Yeddyurappa as saying that a water dispute tribunal was not needed to settle the Mhadei river dispute and that both the chief ministers have decided to resolve the issue through discussions.

Goa and Karnataka are engaged in a bitter water dispute over the waters of the Mhadei river, known as the Mandovi in coastal Goa. The river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian sea at Panaji. While the river travels 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km in length in Goa.

Karnataka plans to construct seven dams across the river, aimed to divert the river’s water into its parched Malaprabha basin.

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