Margao: Goa’s Water Resources Department Minister Philip Neri Rodrigues on Saturday said that he along with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant would join the agitators, if central government doesn’t withdraw the letter related to diversion of River Mahadayi.
Addressing a press conference in Margao, Rodrigues also said that the battle would not end with the withdrawal of the letter from Ministry of Environment as it is a long drawn on.
Referring to all party delegation led by Sawant which met Javadekar in New Delhi and subsequent meeting of the union minister in Goa before inauguration of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Rodrigues said that union minister will fulfill the promise given to the Goa government.
On November 20, Javadekar had sought time of more fifteen days to withdraw the letter written to Karnataka.
“We are certain that Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will fulfill his assurance to withdraw the letter. But if that does not happen, in the interest of Mahadayi, I and the Chief Minister will join the agitators,” the minister said.
Goa is currently facing spate of agitations by opposition parties over the letter written by Union Environment Minister to Karnataka, last month, in which the central government has said that the neighbouring state (Karnataka) do not require Environment Clearance (EC) for one of the water diversion project on River Mahadayi.
“When you speak of Mahadayi, let me make it clear. It is not about the letter written by Union Ministry to Karnataka. It is a big political fight which every successive government has fought legally,” Rodrigues said.
“The issue does not end with the letter. We need to fight the battle till all the issues are addressed by the Supreme Court (SC),”he said referring to the Special Leave Petition filed by Goa before the apex court objecting to the award by Inter-State Water Dispute Tribunal.
“Our term might get end but to protect Goa’s interest on Mahadayi issue, it might take years,” he said.
“It is continuous legal battle till Goa’s all issues are protected,” Rodrigues stated.