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Write to CEC, tell them Goa projects are important: CM appeals to public

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Panaji, Jan 22 (IANS) Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday urged the people of Goa to write to the Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee underlining the importance of three development projects related to roads, rail and power, failing which the projects, Sawant said, may face the same fate of the mining sector, which has been hampered since 2012.

Sawant, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the CEC’s visit to Goa and Karnataka to examine the three controversial projects, also said that the Sterlite Group promoted Tamnar Transmission Project Limited was so critical to Goa, that the state would face massive power outages over the next two years, if the project was not completed.

“We have placed the facts before the committee. Our officials will explain how important the projects are to the state. People should also write to them and underline the need of the projects and the facts. Or else, when power failures begin after two years, do not blame the government,” Sawant told reporters.

Earlier on Friday, the CEC chaired by PV Jayakrishnan (former chief secretary of Goa) examined the South Western Railway’s track doubling project both in Karnataka and Goa by special rail inspection car. The Committee is also expected to visit Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust as well as the location of the proposed 400 KV power transmission project.

The Committee members have also met officials of the Goa government as well as green activists who have claimed that the three projects are aimed at creating a coal transportation corridor from Goa to power units in Karnataka’s Bellary district.

Sawant said that some NGOs had an agenda which can put Goa in peril, by constantly opposing development projects.

“Some NGOs will put Goa in peril. The mining issue had also followed similar course. This is why the mining (sector) is in trouble because the common man is not concerned about these developments. Intellectuals of Goa should think about this and decide what is good for the state,” Sawant said, urging people to meet and write to the CEC to back the three controversial projects.

Mining in Goa was banned in Goa in 2012, following a Supreme Court order amid allegations of a Rs. 35,000 crore illegal mining scam. Mining activity resumed for a brief period in 2014, but was halted again after the apex court found discrepancies in the process of renewal of 88 mining leases in the state.

–IANS

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