The Mhadei river and its tributaries are threatened due to the diversion Project of the Karnataka State Government which is playing the ‘Big Brother’ game with Goa due to its strength both in the Political arena and otherwise.
We as a people, in Goa can and must do our bit to help our elected representatives and those fighting the cause of conservation of the Mahdei River in whichever way we can. On the occasion of World Water Day and upcoming Earth Hour I attempt to list some of the means that can make a difference in this fight to protect our Mother River, the Mhadei.
1. Be aware- Be conscious of the issue of the Diversion project envisaged by the Karnataka Government and its impacts on the Goan ecology and economy. Being aware is the key to action and the more we are updated on this issue that threatens the water security of our state, the better it is for the Goan society at large.
2. Help create awareness- arrange talks, slide shows and field visits for schools and other institutions across the state and beyond as people’s support is vital for petitioning both the state and central government on the peoples stand on this issue.
3. Take action- Volunteer time and resources to organizations like the Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan that have been relentlessly pursuing the matter in the Supreme Court as well as creating awareness at the grass roots level in the states of Goa and Karnataka.
4. Write to the Prime Minister of India seeking his personal attention to the delay in action to address the issue be it the Tribunal or the continuation of work at the Dam site despite a stay on the same.
5. Write to the Forest Minister of India and raise your concerns regarding the impacts of the diversion project on the biodiversity of adjoining Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary of Goa and the Bhimgad Wildlife sanctuary of Karnataka. It is a given that areas in the submergence and dam area are forest areas too and these will irreversibly damaged in the process of diversion.
6. Petition the court- petition the Central Empowered Committee on Wildlife and seek attention on the depletion of water sources,
7. Pass a resolution at your Village Gramsabha demanding the immediate intervention and attention of the Hon Supreme Court of India as well as the Central Empowered committee on Wildlife of the Supreme Court for the immediate stoppage of work at the dam site at Kankumbi as it is violating existing orders of Status quo by these law bodies.
8. Conserve forests- Jal, Jamin aur Jungle are connected. The conservation of green areas whether it is wetland or forest ecosystems, mangroves or city forests, requires protection. Habitat alteration is the single largest threat to catchment areas of our water bodies and these can only be protected by your active intervention at the grass roots levels.
9. Conserve Water-whether it is in your home or office environment, the need of the hour is to conserve fresh water and its sources-lakes, rivers wells, springs etc across the state. This must go hand in hand with protection of the Mhadei River and her tributaries.
10. Reach out- it is important to reach out and lobby for the conservation of water as a natural resource in the State. The Mhadei and its tributaries are Goa’s lifelines and it is our individual responsibility to safeguard and actively participate in planning and decision making in any program and project that involves the use or alteration of this resource. Give time and efforts to this issue, as it will decide the future of the state and its people. Keep the faith.