Panaji: Stating that he supports the idea that Goans should get preference in employment, development and other spheres, Governor P S Shreedaran Pillai, however, said he is opposed to the idea from certain quarters that Goa should be for Goans only.
“Preference should be given to locals for employment and other opportunities as Goa is for Goans. But I oppose the idea that Goa is for Goans only,” said Pillai, while addressing a gathering at Batim during his tour of St Andre constituency on Monday.
The statement was significant as it was apparently aimed at St Andre MLA Viresh Borkar whose Revolutionary Goans Party has been fighting for the rights of the Goans.
“I have learnt from MLA Viresh Borkar that people from this area are going and settling abroad, due to which the local population is decreasing. I hope that he would take the initiative to ensure that locals stay here and strengthen the State and the constituency,” Pillai stated, while extending his help in achieving the objective.
Speaking further, Pillai said by the end of October, he would complete his visit to all villages in the State, which would make him the only Governor to have achieved the milestone.
“This month, I will complete visit to all villages and area. I will be the only Governor to have visited all villages in any State,” Pillai informed.
The Governor further stated that when he took charge of Goa, he had a plan to give financial aid to 71 dialysis patients but in the past year, 710 patients got financial help.
“This was possible because the government, MLAs and people were cooperating. I got cooperation from all constituencies, barring one,” Pillai said.
He further informed that after completing the exercise of visiting constituencies, he would declare 21 heritage trees in Goa, which will be later compiled in a book.
“I have been told that one banyan tree in the State is over a thousand years old,” he added while informing that such types of trees would be declared as heritage trees.
“I will also visit the seven islands and write about them, apart from documenting the butterflies in the State, which could help attract tourists to the State. Goa is a tourist hub which has the potential to make great strides in the sector,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Governor made the mention that Goa has the highest per capita income while Mizoram has the lowest.
“However, as far as happiness index is concerned, Mizoram tops among all States. Let us all contribute to take Goa to the top spot in terms of happiness,” he added.
As part of the tour, Pillai first visited the historic Santan Church in Curca, where he interacted with the parish priest Fr Oscar Quadros.
Later, he attended the function in Batim where sarpanchas, deputy sarpanchas and panchas of all seven panchayats of the constituency were present and submitted their memorandums to the Governor. Financial aid was also disbursed to some cancer patients.
Finally, Pillai visited the Pilar Fathers where he was taken around the museum and explained about the significance of the various artefacts, including the St Thomas Cross.
IAS officer Mihir Vardhan, Additional Collector Sanjeev Dessai, Deputy Collector Rajesh Azgaonkar, Mamlatdar Kaushik Dessai, Tiswadi BDO Anil Dhumaskar and other dignitaries were present.