Goa’s three M’s are priority of government: Sawant

Panaji, June 18 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday said the crucial three ‘M’s — Mining, Mopa and Mhadei — will remain priority issues for the state government.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Sawant also said that he had referred about the issue of lifting of the mining ban in Goa, in the meeting of all Chief Ministers at the Niti Aayog on Saturday, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“At Niti Aayog, I have specially raised the issue and the Prime Minister in his speech has also made a specific reference to Goa mining. We will come to a conclusion and resolve the issue, I am confident. We have to do it because many jobs have been lost,” Sawant told reporters.

Mining in Goa has been banned by a Supreme Court order last year. In his Lok Sabha election campaign Modi had said that the National Democratic Alliance government would look a judicially viable route to restart mining in Goa.

Sawant also said that finishing the upcoming Mopa International Airport located in North Goa’s Pernem sub-district was also a priority for his government. The greenfield airport is expected to handle 30 million passenger traffic when it is fully operational. The first phase of the airport is expected to be completed in 2020.

Sawant’s third ‘M’ refers to the Mhadei river, also known as the Mandovi in certain parts of Goa, the waters of which, are the cause of a prolonged dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Sawant said that fully resolving the issue remains a priority for his government.

–IANS
maya/rs