Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik addresses a press conference at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, on June 12, 2019. . Image Source: IANS News

Panaji, Jan 18 : Amid the ongoing controversy over the Mhadei river water sharing issue with Karnataka, Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday said that he had kept himself away from the issue, adding that the state government was doing an earnest job by working for the interest of the state in the matter.

"Do not put me in a political controversy. I am for Goan people. What the Goa government is doing I fully support it. Whatever help they need from me, I will fully help. This is not my job, but what the government and people need I will do that," Malik told reporters, on the sidelines of a social event near here, when he was asked about efforts made by him to resolve the mining crisis.

Malik had embarrassed the BJP-led coalition government in Goa by reaching out to central leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar in a bid to resolve the Mhadei interstate water sharing dispute with Karnataka.

While the state BJP leaders were miffed, the Opposition used the opportunity to insist that the Governor was in fact working harder than the state government to resolve the dispute.

Malik now claims he does not want to be drawn into a political controversy.

"I have kept myself aside. Government is doing it, it will be successful," the Governor said.

Mining activity in Goa has been banned since 2018, following a Supreme Court order, which exposed irregularities in the state government's mining lease renewal process.

The Goa government, as well as Opposition parties have also expressed concern over Karnataka's ongoing Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project across the Mhadei river; a project which according to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will wreak "ecological devastation" in Goa. The controversial water diversion project was given the go ahead by the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests recently.

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