Panaji: A protest was held on Wednesday outside the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) venue near Panaji against Union minister Prakash Javadekar’s move to ‘exempt’ the Karnataka government from obtaining environment clearance (EC) for one of the projects on the Mahadayi river.
The 50th edition of the IFFI was inaugurated by Javadekar, who holds Information and Broadcasting portfolio along with Environment.
The protesters comprised representatives of local NGOs and leaders of the Goa Forward Party (GFP).
They staged a demonstration after meeting Javadekar and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at the venue.
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“We are unhappy with the meeting as we could not get a firm assurance from Javadekar on withdrawal of the EC exemption,” a protester said.
Progressive Front of Goa leaders Hrudaynath Shirodkar and Mahesh Mhambre and GFP leaders Durgadas Kamat and Santosh Sawant were amongst those detained by police outside the venue of the glittering event.
Durgadas Kamat claimed that Javadekar sought 15 more days to clarify on the issue.
“Javadekar was non-committal on giving any assurance to withdraw the EC exemption to Karnataka,” he claimed.
Goa and neighbouring Karnataka have been at loggerheads over sharing of the Mahadayi river water.
Both the states have filed Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) before the Supreme Court on the issue.