Stating that nationalisation of mines in the state would not be the best answer to the problems faced by the state, the senior Congress leader and South Goa Member of Parliament, Mr Francisco Sardinha, has claimed that he would take up the issue of restarting legal mining activities in Goa with the Prime Minister,
Dr Manmohan Singh, and Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, during the upcoming budget session of the Parliament.
Addressing a press conference at the Congress House on Wednesday, Mr Sardinha told reporters that nationalisation of mines has failed in other states and Goa could not afford to experiment with a failed process as it involves the future of thousands of people dependent on it who were already suffering because of stoppage of mining here. He also said that mining contributed 30 per cent to the state Gross Domestic Product.
He said that he would try to seek directions from the Prime Minister and the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi to the Union Environment Ministry that they should try to make the Supreme Court understand the real situation and allow operation of legal mining. He also said that the dues should be recovered from the miners involved in illegalities and punishment should be meted out to them.
The Congress MP from South Goa admitted difference of opinion among his party men on the issue of Mopa airport project but said that in a democratic set-up people possess the rights to have different views and even express them. He went on to add that the issues were discussed at the party meetings and a decision on them taken collectively and the decision of the majority was accepted by all.
He said that the issues of Dabolim airport and Mopa airport project would be discussed at the Congress party meeting to be held shortly and that the party would take a collective stand. He said that since there was confusion among Goans, especially those from South, the authorities should work towards “erasing” such a thing.
The Congress leader said that he has put up a question, which would be answered in the upcoming session of the Lok Sabha, to get a clear and specific stand of the central government on the continuation of Dabolim airport for civilian use even after the opening of Mopa airport.
He also said that he was looking towards future of Goa 50 years from now while supporting Mopa project even as he said that since he was representing South Goa parliamentary constituency there was no scope for him to oppose Dabolim. He said that it was necessary that highways were constructed to link the Mopa airport to South Goa along with the airport project.
Mr Sardinha also said that it has been brought to his knowledge that some “unqualified” people posing as doctors and dentists were trying to take advantage of arrival of thousands of foreign tourists in need of medical or dental attention and that their services were unprofessional as a result of which those availing their service felt that they have been cheated.
He called upon the state authorities to act against such unscrupulous people and ensure that they stop their practice so as to prevent state from getting a bad name. He said that repercussions of such illegal practices would be felt in days to come by the time the state would have got a bad name and as such this should be ended forthwith. [NT]