Local Goa News

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Govt cannot dump decision of shifting casions arbitrarily: Alina

Says State must take views of concerned panchayats seriously; Do not take Mandovi river pollution to Zuari

VASCO: Extending full support to all three panchayats, including Chicalim, Cortalim and Sancoale and to the villagers who have been objecting to the proposal of shifting casino vessels from Mandovi to Zuari, the Minister for RDA and Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha said the state government has to consider the views of concerned panchayats before taking a decision and it should not force anything on the panchayats.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Alina said though a private company/party has expressed its willingness to host the offshore casinos and facilitate the shifting of the casino vessels to Zuari, however, the same does not take into account the interests of the most important stake holders.
“The proposal of private company/party may appear very attractive to the concerned land owning company and to the casino owners, however, the same does not take into account the interests people of the area and the fishermen, who earn their living on the waters of the area,” she said.
“The proposal also does not pay any attention to the social and environmental impact caused by the shifting of casinos to the ecologically sensitive Chicalim-Sancoale Bay, which also plays host to the endangered placuna placenta, window pane oysters (menddeo). The Chicalim - Sancoale bay is the breeding ground for this species in the whole of Asia and needs to be protected from the biodiversity point of view,” Saldanha added.
Commenting on the pollution at Mandovi, Saldanha said, “It (Mandovi) is already polluted and in no case we should carry the pollution to Zuari which is the second major river in the State. Also Let us not expose the youth of south Goa  to the casino culture which includes many other evils”.
Speaking on the existing infrastructure in the villages located in the neighbourhood of Zuari, Alina said the Government needs to look at the infrastructure in the area holistically. “The village of Sancoale, which contains one of Goa’s largest slums has narrow roads, suffers from insufficient power, water and inadequate garbage collection facilities. Can this village take the additional load of hundreds of two and four wheelers carrying visitors and staff. Moreover, these vehicles will be parked on the existing narrow roads throughout the day. The subsequent anti-social activities that will follow must be taken into account,” she concluded.

Herald Goa News

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