Panaji: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today asked the Goa government to promptly take a call on setting up a satellite port in the state, as Maharashtra and Karnataka are keen on shifting it to their regions.
"We are planning the development of a port (satellite port at South Goa's Betul village). If the state government needs, we can do it, if not then we are planning to shift it to Karnataka or Maharashtra," Mr Gadkari told Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
Addressing a gathering in Panaji after signing an agreement for re-development of cargo berths at existing Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), the Union minister said, "The Karnataka government is requesting us for the port in Karwar. As far as ports in Goa are concerned, we have to increase the capacity of existing port (MPT) or go for a second port."
"Now it is for the government to let us know (about the decision) after considering all the problems," he said referring to the recent protests by locals against the satellite port at Betul village.
"In Goa, there are lot of activists. People are very active, we don't have any problem with it, but if you have some reservations (for new port), we will increase the capacity of existing port. We are taking all preventive measures as far as environment is concerned," he added.
Mr Gadkari said both protecting the environment as well as accelerating the economy are important.
"Today I am expecting that we will encourage new economic potential which will create employment," he said.