Sardinha Backs Navy’s Plans on Islands
Mr. Francisco Sardinha, Member of Parliament representing the Mormugao constituency, argued that the security concerns of the nation cannot be compromised but assured that the MPs would protect Goans’ interest.
He was responding to questions asked by media persons at a media briefing held by Union Minister of State for Defense M M Pallam Raju who was down in Goa to commission the offshore vessel Vijit built by the Goa Shipyard Ltd.,
It may be recalled that the Indian Navy, which is holding substantial land in Goa, had asked that the two island – St. George and Pequeno – lying off the Baina coast, be handed over to them as they were close to the landing corridor of the Dabolim airport.
Locals had objected to this proposal citing various reasons including the fact that they have religious and other ceremonies at the island, besides they being leisure spots for the locals.
Some Goans had even accused the Indian Navy of being on a land grab spree in Goa and former minister Matanhy Saldanha pointed out the Indian Armed Forces had not handed back to the civilian authority the land in their possession at Altinho and Panjim even though they were provided huge land at Bambolim in lieu of it.
Besides, he also pointed out that the Indian Navy was not willing to give a small tract of land belonging to it to construct the 4-lane highway from Verna to Vasco as a result of which the divider on the highway at Chicalim is very narrow and the stretch has become an accident prone zone.
Pallam Raju while fielding questions from media persons said the government will not compromise on security while assuring that it was sensitive to the needs of the locals.