Panaji: In a comprehensive press briefing today in view of the imminent budget session of the Goa Legislative Assembly, Goa Forward President Vijai Sardesai expressed deep concern over many compelling issues plaguing the state. He stressed the limited timeframe of the session, which always proves to be insufficient for comprehensive debates and discussions on the government’s progress, to hold them accountable.
Voicing Goemkars’ grievances, Sardesai enumerated the multitude of challenges the state faces like unemployment, healthcare deficiencies, agricultural issues, declining tourism, neglect of heritage sites, rising state debt, issues related to infrastructure such as Bhoma Highway issue, restrictions faced by people due to the buffer zone around wetlands, rent a car issue, mismanagement of Margao Municipal Council, protection for Goan GI tagged items, shortage of Kadamba buses between Panjim and Margao, delay in disbursement of agricultural subsidies, heinous against women and children, and the pervasive issue of corruption. The session’s constrained duration restricts discussion on these critical issues.
However, he assured the public of the proactive measures he’s undertaken, including submitting memorandums and seeking detailed action-taken reports through Legislative Assembly Questions (LAQ).
He informed that several delegations called on him with their anxieties. One such delegation was that of Goan self-help groups involved in the midday meal scheme, whose livelihood is threatened by a non Goan agency. A delegation of tourism stakeholders apprised him of the rampant corruption in the tourism department. Sardesai stated that the 90 Cr beach cleaning tender must be scrutinised. He also hit out at the government for not protecting the interests of traditional coastal communities. While mentioning the demolitions along CRZ areas and the harassment of water sports operators, he blamed the government for pushing the locals to switch from fishing to tourism and then betraying them. He also mentioned some of the issues of the other delegations including a teacher who was appointed under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at the salary of a manual labour. “In the sports department, a NIS coach is payed 19000 when his salary should have been 70000. The TSL labour of Forest department has not received a wage hike since the last 8 years” He said.
“The government is in a celebratory mode. They think Ram Rajya has arrived. But the reality is, Goans continue to suffer from unemployment, price rise ,and threat to their identity”, he said. He demanded that the government clarify their stand on his private member’s bill for 80% reservation in Goa. He pledged to raise these issues in the Assembly, emphasizing their impact on the socio-cultural and economic wellbeing of the state.