Panaji: Amid the opposition's protest over nationalisation of rivers in Goa, state River Navigation Minister Sudin Dhavalikar said today that waterway transport will remain under the state government's jurisdiction.
"Central government has a right over waterways but the state government is the authority for transport in rivers," he said, reacting to the protest by Congress and Goa Forward Party.
The powers of the local administration in this regard would not be transferred to the Centre, he said, adding that the opposition parties were trying to "confuse the people".
He said that activities like dredging of rivers, to be undertaken by the Centre as a part of nationalisation, were needed as the state lacked expertise and funds.
"There have been instances where the ships were grounded because of the silt. There are some spots where dredging is a must. Ferry boats cannot operate because of the silt in some stretches," he said.
Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had recently announced nationalisation of six rivers in Goa -- Mandovi, Zuari, Sal, Mapusa, Chapora and Cumbharjua canal.
Opposition parties alleged that the Centre kept the Goa government in the dark before taking the decision.