Margao: Former Deputy Chief Minister of Goa and President of Goa Forward Party will the petitioning the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi who is the Chairperson of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)through the Governor of Goa Satyapal Malik to resolve the crisis surrounding the thousand of Goan seafarers stranded globally due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press release to the media, Sardesai stated, “The Central Government has announced yesterday that it will send 64 flights to rescue Indians stranded in different parts of the World including the USA and Europe from the 7th of May, 2020. Interestingly, these 64 flights will operate to and fro from 10 different States in India.Shockingly, Goa does not figure in those ten states despite the fact that thousands of Goan Seafarers and other Non-Resident Goans (NRGs) are stranded onshore and offshore in different parts of the World. “
He further asserted, “For the last nearly two months, there have been umpteen SOS messages from all these stranded non-resident Goans and Seafarers requesting the Goa and Indian Government to rescue them as early as possible as their situation is turning frightful day by day and there is a real threat to their health and lives. There have been numerous petitions on their and their families’ behalf by the Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) as well as other organizations, NGOs, Citizens and Politicians and Political Parties including the Goa Forward Party for the last more than a month.”
Lambasting the government, Sardesai expressed, “The Goa State Government which is responsible for the wellbeing of its subjects and which was supposed to take up their matter with the Central Government acted deaf and dumb for weeks and days. They were only goaded into a symbolic action to rescue a few of our Seafarers (not even 1% of the total) stuck off the coast of Mumbai (Marella Discovery) due to the sustained moral pressure brought on them by the Seafarers themselves through a SOS Video and their families who threatened to come on the roads. However, even that rescue plan was totally botched up by this Government and it took them nearly a week to get them settled in the quarantine facility in Goa with problems galore with protocols, payment, etc.
The less spoken of those stuck on Karnika and Angriya the better (Goans onboard Karnika are still to disembark Whereas Ukrainians and sailors from other CIS countries have been flown back to their respective countries last night from Goa itself) , their fate is probably being negotiated with “underhand deals” by the agents and the government agencies in Goa who want to milch the beleaguered Seafarers’ Companies.”
Sardesai questioned the government calling it impotent and spineless saying, “All this time, we have been only given ‘feel-good’ promises and assurances by the Government and their loud mouths and turn-coats in Goa. We have been hearing the same message “that it is a central Government matter and we are following up daily with the PM’s and HM’s Office like the BSNL recorded message of ‘all the lines in this route are busy, please call after sometime’. The least this Government could have asked for is a permission to open up Dabolim Airport to allow rescue flights chartered by the Seafarer Companies to land. Even this concession they were not able to get from the Central Government despite it being ruled by the same BJP party. This only proves that this government is either totally impotent or it is not at all interested in getting our stranded Goenkars , non-resident Goenkars and the Seafarers especially the suffering Seafarers from foreign lands and it has only been giving empty promises to save more its Congress turned BJP MLAs from the wrath of people especially in Salcette than to save our stranded and traumatized Goenkars and Tarvottis.”