People should not impute motives to the government or to the chief minister on the basis of a bill that does not exist, chief minister Manohar Parrikar said, with reference to the allegations made by civil society against the government regarding the proposed khazan land development board.
Led by the Pilerne citizens' forum, civil society organizations recently alleged that the intention of the draft prepared by the water resources department is to acquire and sell khazan lands in Goa to the real estate lobby.
Reacting to the allegation, the chief minister said, "It is not a bill, what they are talking is rot. The department has only asked suggestions from the people and the government has not approved it. They are talking about things that do not exist."
Parrikar explained that a bill needs to be approved by the cabinet, after which it goes to the assembly. "This is the first draft by the department, which has asked for public opinion. To be frank, I have not seen the draft. And I don't have to read it at this stage. I will read it when it comes up for putting up before the cabinet. It has no meaning until it is approved by the cabinet," he reiterated.
He said that the water resources department has put up the draft on the website for suggestions, in the interest of transparency. In an obvious reference to PCF spokesperson Yatin Naik, Parrikar said, "How can he give intention to the government, when the government has not even approved it? It is the chief engineer of the water resources department who is asking for suggestions from the public; not the government. There is a difference between the chief engineer and the government," Parrikar said.
The chief minister added, "Even before something is conceived, he (Naik) is trying to give motives. If I have not given any approval, I cannot be given intentions and I cannot be alleged against. This is actually a transparent method by which government is formulating an important bill by taking people into confidence."
The chief minister claimed that the single purpose of the draft is to stop the illegal breaching of bunds by vested interests for the purpose of fishing. "At a lot of places, people breach the bunds, let in salt water in the fields to catch fish. This goes on because the tenants' associations and comunidades under the mamlatdars are all corrupt. They take lakhs of rupees. It is a big racket by the fishing syndicate, which breach the bunds," Parrikar said. [TOI]
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