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Mandovi River

Mandovi River

Photo Credit: Rajan Parrikar

The Mandovi River has a length of 77 kilometres out of which 29 kilometres is situated in Karnataka and 52 kilometres is in Goa. The Mandovi River originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgat located in the Western Ghats of the Belgaum district in Karnataka. The Mandovi River has an area of 2032 square kilometres in Karnataka and 1580 square kilometres area in Goa. The Mandovi river basin in Goa comprises of approximately 42% of Goa’s total geographical area. The Mandovi River is also known as Mahadayi or Mhadei River, and is often described as the lifeline to the State of Goa.

Along with Mandovi River, the Zuari River is also a primary river in Goa. This sharing of the river water between Goa and Karnataka has caused problems between the governments of these two states. This is because in recent times, the Karnataka government has proposed diverting portions of the water from the Mandovi River to the Malaprabha river basin as part of the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.

Panaji, the former capital of Goa, is situated on the left bank of the river Mandovi. The Canal of Cumbarjuem links the Mandovi river to the Mapusa river and this canal has made the inner parts of the Mandovi open to ships that carry Iron Ore. Iron Ore is Goa’s prime mineral that is mined in Eastern hills.

The Mandovi river also carries in it three freshwater isles: The Divar, Chorao and Vashee. All three are present in the Mandovi River near the town of Old Goa. The Mandovi is also knows for the beautiful Mandovi bridge situated across the river near Panjim. It was famous due to its collapse in the 1980s. A new bridge now stands where it used to be. The winter months are peak tourist months and so the Mandovi River sees special cruises with live musical bands, which only adds to the popularity of this river.

The Mandovi River has been facing many threats in recent times due to illegal felling of trees as well as illegal mining which have been happening for a very long time in the area. In addition, water diversion and hydroelectric projects mean that this lifeline of Goa faces threat of choking due to reduction in water flow, water pollution and disruption in ecology due to change in water profile.

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