Current Affairs

CM raises questions on Goa Foundation funds for court cases

In an act that is sure to cause disappointment to NGOs fighting to preserve Goa’s environment, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar (who when in Opposition at times encouraged the good work of NGOs) speaking at a function organised on his birthday, stated that he has serious questions to the source of the funds of Goa Foundation, headed by Claude Alvares.

Goa Foundation is one the non-governmental organization that has been fighting the cause to preserve Goa’s environment against corporate entities like the mining and real estate lobby. It has recently filed at petition in the Supreme Court, post the release of the Justice MB Shah’s ‘Goa Illegal Mining’ scam report, which has lead to a interim ban of mining activities and transportation of iron-ore in the state. This move was done after Goa government decided to ban mining in Goa after the Shah panel report, but allowed export of already mined ore (dumps) and transportation of iron-ore.

“I myself have taken matters to court and spent nearly 10 to 12 lacs, and fighting legal cases are costly, so it would be interesting to know, where Claude gets his funds to fight court cases,” expressed Parrikar.

Some NGOs who have worked with Parrikar before, on condition of anonymity state that this stance of the Chief Minister is highly questionable. The step that the Goa Foundation had taken was done in the interest of the people of Goa. We have no doubt that if Parrikar was in the Opposition, he would have praised Claude and team for their social service for the state. Now, however, because is in ruling and is also connected to the mining lobby, he wants to cast aspersions on the workings of NGOs.

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