Margao: Goencho Avaaz on Thursday charged that the Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant has betrayed them on the three linear projects.
Goencho Avaaz’s Capt Viriato has said that during a meeting with the Chief Minister on Oct 13,2020 had explained the entire destruction that would befall on Goa if the ill conceived projects to transport coal was implemented.
“The Chief Minister had assured that he would not allow the coal transportation through Goa nor would he allow the double tracking. Based on this assurance, Goencho Avaaz had requested the Chief Minister to give a Diwali gift to the Children of Goa on Nov 14, 2020 which incidentally is also the Children’s day,” said Capt Viriato Fernandes.
He said that If at all the government was serious in scrapping the anti people, destructive projects, the Chief Minister could have announced the same in an unambiguous manner and issued a notification to the same, instead of saying “Ready to rethink”.
“Such double talk and changing of goal post by the government is just to buy time and fool the people of Goa. This goes to prove the control and influence that the crony capitalists are having over the government of Goa, which can be aptly called “Adani Government” “ said Capt Viriato.
He further stated that the government of Goa is on a destructive path, unmindful of its obligation and duty towards the state and its people, probably under pressure from the corporate lobby dealing in coal business.
“The zeal and enthusiasm with which it has been pursuing the destructive projects viz. double tracking of South Western Railways, Expansion of National Highways, Bulldozing the 400 KV line through Mollem National Park and the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life sanctuary and damaging the western ghats goes to show as to what extent the coal lobby has control over the government,” he said.
Capt Viriato said that its been almost three years that Goencho Avaaz along with other organizations and the people of Goa have been protesting against the destructive projects, but the government seems to be bound by some obligations towards the coal lobby interested in getting coal from Australia.
“The eagerness to facilitate the transport of coal through rivers, by double tracking of SW railways and the National Highways as per the plans approved by the central government that will lead to collapse of the tourism industry, destruction of houses, places of worship, beaches, health, etc raises serious doubts about the responsibility of this government towards its people,” he said.
He said the mystery behind the routing of the 400 KV transmission line despite the state getting a surplus of 400 MW as declared by the Power Minister himself, which again is connected with powering the engines at Collem to push the coal laden train uphill to castle rock and then onto Karnataka indicates skeletons in the cupboard of the government.
“With just 48 hours to go for the Nov 14 deadline of a Diwali gift to scrap the projects, and the government issuing vague statements like “ready to rethink” with no definite action plan, has failed to remove the trust deficit. We nonetheless appeal to the Chief Minister to walk the talk on his promises of stopping coal and immediately scrapping the destructive projects. Goencho Avaaz will be forced to take appropriate measures along with the people of Goa to stop the destructive projects, expose the nexus between the government and crony capitalists and ensure that Goa is kept safe for the future generations,” he said.