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Rajendra Kerkar: Save Madei River, Else Be Too Late Salvage The Future Of Goa
Monday - Nov 28, 2022
Panjim: Goan environmentalist Rajendra P Kerkar emphasised that if we do not unite to save the Madei River, it will be too late for us to salvage the future of Goa. The Karnataka government is rampantly building more than 12 dams on the banks of the Madei River and trying to divert large quantities of water to Karnataka. If Karnataka succeeds in diverting Madei's water, it will badly impact the 12 rivers from Goa and the biodiversity surrounding them, says Kerkar.
Rajendra Kerkar, during his talk on the Madei River, said, "Goan politicians are ignorant and have a negligent attitude towards environmental issues such as the Madei River water diversion. Therefore, these politicians go easy on the Madei issue.” He further said that the Goa government is being duplicitous in pretending to be unaware of the Madei issue. Kerkar said that people say that the third world war will happen for water, but factually, it has already started. The best example could be the Madei water diversion issue, wherein the Karnataka government is building dozens of water dams next to the Madei River to divert the water to northern Karnataka.
This issue is before the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court. Goa should remain firm in fighting to save the Madei, because if we fail to save Madei, then we will fail our future generations. Kerkar gave PowerPoint presentations wherein he showcased the flora and fauna found in the Western Ghats and in the vicinity of the Madei from the point where it originates. Kerkar also quoted Prof Madhav Gadgil that any sort of water diversion by putting dams in the Western Ghats region will have an adverse impact on the biodiversity of the region.
Later, during the discussion, when the issue of saving the Sal River came up, Kerkar said that he would be interested and would love to help save and revive the Sal. He said that rivers are an important aspect of the biodiversity of the area, and if rivers begin getting polluted, then it will create health and environmental problems for the people. Kerkar stated that the Madei water diversion issue is not restricted to North Goa, but will also impact the Uguem River in South Goa, which goes to Selaulim. This will create a problem for entire South Goa as these people consume water from the Selaulim Dam.
Vijay Sardessai, Goa Forward Party MLA, said that Goans need to come together, keeping aside political differences, to stand in support to save the Madei River for Goa. He also lashed out at the BJP government, pointing out that there is a lack of political will with the BJP government to save Madei for Goa. He also alleged that the state BJP government is trying to neglect this issue because there is a BJP government at the centre and in the states of Karnataka and Goa.
Later, during this event, several people like Capt Viriato Fernandes, Fr Bolmax Pereira, Elvis Gomes and others asked questions and gave their suggestions to save the Madei. It was decided to form a committee to save the river and create awareness all over Goa. The Madei issue is to be taken up on a public level and a strong demand is to be created before the government to save the Madei.

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