Panaji: The Goa Assembly on Monday witnessed some sparring over the manganese contamination issue with a BJP MLA making remarks that Congress blamed mining for various problems but "reaped fruits of the industry" at the same time.
"You have allergy to mining. You always blamed mining for various reasons but reaped the fruits of the industry," BJP MLA Subhash Faldesai said reacting to a statement by Congress`s Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco.
The issue was high level of manganese in Selaulim water reservoir which supplies water to most parts of Goa.
"The mining has stopped now. Why the manganese content is going up? You always blamed mines for it," Faldesai said.
The mining in the state has stopped since September following a Supreme Court directive.
The state government today informed the House that manganese levels in Selaulim dam has touched 1.2 mg/litre against the permissible limit of 0.7 mg/litre. High levels of manganese has forced authorities to stop water supply to Mormugao and Salcette talukas for two days last week.
Raising the issue, Lourenco demanded that mines operating near the area should be examined for possible manganese contamination.
However, Faldesai objected to the demand which angered the Congress MLA.
"These people were born on mines but we were born in the agricultural fields," Lourenco said pointing at Faldesai and another BJP legislator Nilesh Cabral.
Independent MLA Vijay Sardesai said manganese mine in the area was in existence before the construction of reservoir began in 1975.
The government assured that authorities would look into the issue and preventive steps were already being taken.