Connect with us


Save Goa’s Rivers: Trajano D’Mello Demands Jetty Policy be scrapped amid fears of ecological disaster



Panaji: Highlighting the ambiguity and lack of clarity in the present Jetty Policy in Goa, Goa TMC Media Coordinator Trajano D’Mello and Goa TMC Minority Wing Coordinator Vincent Fernandes slammed Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte for failing to provide a comprehensive list of locations or a total number of proposed jetties, raising concerns about the potential impact on Goan rivers declared as National ‘Waterways’ during a press conference at the party office in Panaji.

Bringing to the fore the anomalies of the Jetty Policy, Goa TMC Media Coordinator Trajano D’Mello said, ‘The recent revelation about the Jetty Policy has raised concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in the government’s decision-making process. This policy has been exposed as nothing but a fraud and a tool for extortion, with local businesses and residents being forced to pay for lax enforcement. It is posing a significant threat to the state’s six rivers declared as “National Waterways.” The proposed jetties’ locations and numbers remain unclear, raising concerns about the potential impact on these crucial water bodies.’ Questioning Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s silence on the matter, D’Mello added, ‘With the state’s prized possessions already handed over to the Centre during the tenure of CM Laxmikant Parsekar, the lack of clarity in the Jetty Policy has become a cause for alarm. It is high time for the BJP government to address these concerns and provide concrete solutions to safeguard the state’s ecological and economic interests. Why is the CM silent now?’

Taking a dig at Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte for his hidden agenda and repeated incompetency, D’Mello enquired, ‘The tourism ministry is just a face, they can’t do anything without getting permission of IWAI (Inland Waterways Authority of India) as an MOU was signed between IWAI, Goa government and MPT in 2018. The BJP government admitted that IWAI has statutory obligation for development and regulation of National waterways in Goa. How can the tourism department speak of policies in these rivers?’ He further added, ‘The lack of transparency and accountability has created an environment of fear and uncertainty, leading to a call for the Tourism Minister to come clean on the gaps in enforcement. The minister and his department seem to be in a state of hibernation! While horrific incidents of gang rape and robbery rock the state’s tourism industry, officials remain silent and inactive, oblivious to the grave implications of their inaction. The shocking fact is that the Japanese embassy’s inquiries on the robbery of one of their nationals fell on deaf ears, and no action was taken by the tourism ministry to address their concerns. This level of incompetence and lack of responsibility is unacceptable, and the minister must awaken to the reality of the dire condition of tourism in Goa under his leadership.’

Highlighting the overall collapse of administration in the state, D’Mello emphasized, ‘The recent jetty issue may have faded from the public eye, but behind the scenes, there is a flurry of backdoor negotiations and conflicts among the BJP government and its cabinet ministers. The sad reality is that the beauty of Panjim has been tarnished by the actions of political and tourism thugs, while the tourism minister remains silent. The municipal corporation has sent a show cause notice, but will that make a difference? During the carnival, businessmen were forced to hand over money to Porvorim thugs, and there were even reports of money extortion to celebrate someone’s birthday. The CM and GDP are still silent about the ATS’s money extortion. It’s time for these individuals to realize that their actions have consequences, not just for themselves but for their families as well. It’s time for them to have some self-respect and act with decency towards others.’

Slamming the BJP-led government for the recent price rise, D’Mello said, ‘Goa TMC strongly condemns the recent hike on LPG cylinders by the BJP-led government in Goa. It is a heartless move that shows a blatant disregard for the poor and marginalized people of the state. It is a shameless act of greed that exposes the government’s insensitivity to the daily struggles of the common people. This price rise will cause immense hardship for the already struggling families, who are battling to make ends meet. It is a harsh reality that the poor people of Goa are the worst hit by this anti-people decision.’ He further stressed, ‘We demand that the government revoke this cruel hike in the price of LPG cylinders and take steps to ease the burden on the poor and underprivileged people.’