Panaji, Aug 18: Goa government will soon start consultations with stakeholders over the nationalisation of inland waterways, a senior official said today.
"Department of Ports has called a meeting of all the stakeholders next week wherein the draft MoU on nationalisation of inland waterways would be discussed," Captain of Ports James Braganza said here.
During the recently held Assembly session, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had assured that all stakeholders would be consulted before finalising the MoU with the Centre over nationalisation of inland waterways in six important rivers of the state.
Braganza said barge owners, trawler operators, traditional fishermen, shipyard owners and others will be taken into confidence during the meeting over the kind of MoU that would be signed with the Centre.
Goa government has already received a draft MoU from National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), which would be worked upon after taking feedback from the stakeholders, he said.
The Opposition benches had expressed doubts during the Assembly session over nationalisation of waterways as it includes dredging of rivers.
Independent legislator Vijai Sardesai had said the dredging will affect livelihood of the traditional fishermen.
Braganza clarified that dredging would be taken up in certain portions of the river, and not the entire basin. "We are always dredging certain parts of the river which is required for smooth navigation," he said.
Under a Central government scheme, the state would be provided with finance to create infrastructure along the inland waterways which will take traffic load off the roads.