‘Worry about Delhi first’: Goa CM Pramod Sawant’s advice to Arvind Kejriwal
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday advised his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal to look after his own state rather than worry about the Goa government. Kejriwal had lent his voice to the ‘Save Mollem’ campaign.
Protesters have been opposing a trio of projects, a double tracking of a railway line, highway expansion and power line that will all slice through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mollem National Park in the coastal state.
“No state is as polluted as Delhi. They should look at that first. People in Delhi are desperate to breathe fresh air. You can go to Delhi for yourself and check. The coronavirus situation too is very bad, they are in the midst of a third wave,” Sawant, who recently returned from Delhi, said a press conference.
“Instead of commenting on Goa, I want to tell Kejriwal to worry about Delhi first and not Goa,” Sawant said.
“Goans camping day n nite to #savemollem and stop #coalprojects. FIRs done against many Goans incl (including) AAP volunteers. Muzzling protests and lodging FIR will not dampen [the] spirit of Goans to save Goa from being a coal hub. Govts shud (should) not implement projects against the wishes of people,” Kejriwal had tweeted joining the cause with various political leaders and celebrities.
Sawant said that his government was also committed to the preservation of the ecological diversity and that his discussion with the Union minister of shipping in New Delhi centred around reducing the coal being imported viat the Mormugao Port.
The railway line, by far the biggest of the three projects will come at a cost of diversion of 113.857 ha. of forest land and felling of 18,541 trees.
The second project -- the four-laning of the existing two-lane highway was constructed by the Portuguese colonial government between Panaji in Goa and Belgavi in Karnataka will cost 31.015 ha of forest land and 12,097 trees.
The third is a 400KV power line, 3.5 km of which passes through protected forest to augment power supply between Goa and Karnataka and to provide additional feed to Goa.