Food security to all those affected by the mining closure, resolving the long pending Mayem evacuee property issue, reducing corruption further are among some assurances made by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on the 51st anniversary of Goa’s liberation on Wednesday.
He assured to ‘ liberate’ Mayem residents from the issue of evacuee property before the state celebrates its next Liberation Day, in phases.
“ Goa was liberated from Portuguese 51 years ago but some signs of colonial rule are visible in some parts particularly Mayem in the form of custodian property,” he said addressing a gathering attended by several dignitaries.
On the mining issue, the CM assured food security to all the people affected by the halt of mining activities in the State, which is likely to hit 25 percent of the total population dependent on it.
“ Government takes the responsibility to ensure that no one starves due to mining halt. We will make sure that there is enough for everyone’s livelihood. The government will put forth its stand before Supreme Court to resume legal mining soon,” he added.
The government, he further assured, will create employment opportunities for those dependent on mining industry in the next six months. His statement comes a day after thousands of mining dependents thronged the capital city demanding immediate resumption of legal mining.
Parrikar, also holding the mines portfolio, admitted that the mining ban has affected GDP by 20 percent but nonetheless the revenue growth has been raised to an impressive 12 percent. “ Despite mining issue, scrapping VAT on petrol and disseminating financial benefits, we have been able to cover up revenue by 12 percent,” he boasted as he read his speech.
On the corruption level in the State, Parrikar claimed it has come down by almost 50 per cent since the time he took over in March 2012.
“ Our aim is to reduce it by almost 80 to 90 per cent,” Parrikar said, asking people to cooperate in the government’s endeavor for a corruption- free State.
He reeled out benefits under the social welfare, women and child welfare, agriculture and education schemes some of which were revised by hiking the honorarium.
Parrikar further said that government paid Rs 12 crore for students’ interest free loans and solved the problems of computer teachers.
Bal Rath scheme is being enhanced, he added.
Earlier, the chief minister reviewed the parade of contingents drawn from police, Fire Force, NCC, Home Guards and various schools. After his speech, he presented gold medals to inspectors Kiran Poduval, Braz Menezes, Prabodh Shirwaikar, and head constables Mohan Desai, Ravindra Khorate, Arjun Gawas and Sriram Salgaonkar.
Station Fire Officer Laxman Majik was awarded CM’s Fire Service Medal for meritori- ous service. Agriculturalists and social workers were also awarded. The chief minister also presented awards to the disabled.
Heat takes its toll
PANJIM: Some young brigade swooned under the beating 30.2C heat during the liberation day ceremony at Campal on Wednesday morning. Extensive drill practice and the heat were probably the cause of fatigue.
After the parade at 9: 15am that went on for about 15 minutes or so, as the chief minister was half way through his speech, a lady home guard volunteer fainted. She was soon escorted on the other side of the ground in the shade and given water.
Minutes later, as the CM’s awards were being presented a lady IRB constable gave up to hot weather.
Subsequently around two students, who were also participating in the parade, could not bear the sun heat and fainted. They were also immediately given first aid.
This is not the first time the parade participants fainted during the ceremony as last year’s Liberation Day function under the reign of Digambar Kamat, had also witnessed the same scene but the main reason was toxic fumes from burnt garbage next to the Campal ground.
Miscreants ‘ construct’ Morjim road on Liberation Day
PANJIM: Taking advantage of a holiday, miscreants have begun constructing an illegal road at the Morjim Beach, permission for which was earlier denied.
Speaking to Herald, a source informed Herald that the road that is being built by levelling sand dunes witnessed increased activity on December 19, being a holiday.
“ I was noticing that there is a lot of movement of trucks carrying rubbles, which are usually used to construct a road. Today, I saw a road roller moving in that direction,” the source told Herald.
He said that he has called up officials of the forest department, as the beach is protected area for turtle nesting as well as the area comes under CRZ and one would need permission from the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority. [H]