Niti Aayog meet: Spoke on Mahadayi, mining, says Goa CM

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Panaji, Feb 20 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said he urged the Centre to protect the state's interests in the Mahadayi River issue and resume mining operations during the sixth governing council meeting of the Niti Aayog.

Sawant said his presentation at the meet, which was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, highlighted the danger of Goa having a shortage of drinking water if neighbouring Karnataka is allowed to divert Mahadayi water.

'I pointed out that the petition on Mahadayi is pending before the Supreme Court. I told the PM diversion will not only impact flora and fauna but will also create drinking water shortage in (Goa) in the future. We may not feel the shortage as of now,' he said.

Sawant said he presented facts about the impact the closure of mining operations has had on the state.

The CM said his government also demanded that it be allowed to 'encourage vertical mobility' as '67 per cent of our area is under forest cover' while there are also Coastal Zone Management norms to contend with.

Stress was laid on the 'Swayampurna Goa' initiative, which aims to revive rural economy and agriculture, as well.

Sawant thanked the PM for Rs 300 crore allotted to the state in the Union Budget, Rs 960 crore for Goa Shipyard Limited (a defence PSU), Rs 24 crore for Goa Polar Research Institute, Rs 20 crore for WRD ministry and Rs 83 crore for cooperative sector and Mormugao Port Trust (MPT). PTI RPS BNM BNM