Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar feels that the local green NGOs agitate on selective issues, mainly targeting the developmental projects in the state.
Without naming any organisation, Parrikar said the NGOs petition National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the developmental projects but are not bothered to take a stand when it comes to the crucial issue of diversion of Mhadei river.
Goa and Karnataka are in a water dispute over Mhadei river, also called as Mandovi river, as the neighbouring state (Karnataka) has began work on construction of dams upstream this water body. The river originates in Karnataka.
“There is objection to everything (by the NGOs). Be it the third Mandovi bridge, creating infrastructure for garbage treatment or other projects,” Parrikar said here last evening.
“Why they (NGOs) are silent on Mhadei issue for which the state is fighting a long legal battle (with Karnataka). Is it because it involves another state?” he questioned.
The Defence Minister was present at the inauguration of a newly renovated jetty in the city constructed by the state government.
The NGO Goa Foundation had approached the NGT over the construction of third Mandovi bridge, expressing environmental concerns. Parrikar also questioned how the NGOs can afford to spend so much money on fighting the cases.
“There is hypocrisy in the thinking process. There has to be positive activism for cleaner and better Goa,” the former chief minister of the state said.
He said it was irrelevant to file petition before the NGT against the third Mandovi bridge. “The new bridge will divert 40 per cent traffic while the existing bridges can be converted into one-way.
It will ease traffic congestion, reduce pollution and also save petrol expenses,” Parrikar said.