Panaji, Aug 26 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Goa should commission environment and social impact assessment studies before agreeing to nationalise six major rivers in the state, state Congress president Shantaram Naik demanded on Saturday.
Naik told reporters that the state government’s hurry to work on a draft memorandum of understanding with the central government to allow nationalisation of six rivers, which include the Mandovi and the Zuari rivers — two of the state’s biggest rivers — would spell doom for communities living along the six rivers, including the fisher folk.
“What will happen if the social impact study turns out to be adverse? Will the Union Government delete the names of the six rivers annexed to the Schedule of Nationalisation of Waterways Act and apologise to the people of Goa?” Naik told reporters in Panaji.
The state government is in the process of drafting a memorandum of understanding with the Mormugao Port Trust, Inland Waterways Authority and the Captain of Ports (Goa government), which will pave the way for nationalisation of the Chapora, Sal, Mapusa, Pomburpa, Mandovi and Zuari rivers in Goa.
“In fact, the central Cabinet should not have approved the Nationalisation of Rivers Bill without asking the state governments to conduct a social impact study and assessment of environmental aspect, including question of livelihood of fishermen,” Naik said.
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