Deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho on Wednesday stressed the need for Goa being accorded special status in order to protect its land being grabbed by outsiders including central government agencies and even foreign nationals.
Addressing a large crowd from Mormugao taluka that had blocked traffic on the old Mandovi Bridge protesting against Indian Navy’s plan to acquire the three islands of Goa’s shore and the Bimbvell Beach, Godinho said the Indian Navy was harassing civilians and gave the example of Dabolim airport where expansion of civilian facilities to boost Goa’s tourism was consistently being thwarted.
Besides, foreign nationals particularly from Israel and Russia were acquiring huge tracks of Goan land.
Godinho came down heavily on the state government for not protecting Goa’s interest and said that the central government was willing to give any concession provided the case is properly presented to it.
To substantiate his point, he said the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has provided special concession for Goan fishermen in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2011 to protect their houses coming within CRZ.
Besides, for widening of the NH-17, the central government has sanctioned a special elevated road costing crores of rupees in Cortalim in order to protect the houses that would otherwise have been demolished.
He said the state government had failed miserably to address the garbage issue and further said that the law and order machinery had totally collapsed which is reflected in police being caught selling drugs and even committing murders.
Accusing the Indian Navy of having a hidden agenda for Goa, he called for all Goans to unite to fight against it.
Earlier Chief Minister Digambar Kamat was stopped on his way to the assembly and presented an eight point memorandum which included opposing land acquisition by Indian Navy, protecting the houses at Khariwada, Vasco and garbage issue amongst others.