Herald: Issues burning then and burning now
Herald News

Issues burning then and burning now

14 Mar 2018 05:28am IST
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14 Mar 2018 05:28am IST

Coal handling

A public meeting called in April 2017 saw several thousands of people opposing the coal handling expansion proposal of South West Port Limited (SWPL) and accused the Centre and State governments and SWPL of turning Vasco into a coal hub. Goa State Pollution Control Board then observed major violations and wrote to MoEF not to allow the expansion while it also revoked the consent to operate granted to SWPL for excess coal handling. A criminal complaint was also filed. The issue is pending.

River Nationalisation

Resolutions from over 80 panchayats opposing the national waterways project sent the State government in a tizzy prompting it to call a public meeting to discuss the draft Memorandum of Understanding on the proposal in December 2017. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar fielded questions by activists and general public, who raised apprehensions that Goa will lose all rights if the six rivers are given in the custody of the Centre. The draft MoU between the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and Goa government was explained to the people emphasising that signing the agreement will get back rights on the inland waterways to Goa from the Centre. If not, the powers over the rivers will remain with the Centre. IWAI has now appointed consultants to do a techno-feasibility study of the projects to be undertaken under the national program

Tourist taxi strike

Over 18,000 tourist taxis went off the roads on January 19 protesting a rule to compulsorily install speed governors. The government pressed into service additional vehicles, including Kadamba Transport Corporation’s local and inter-state buses as alternative modes of transport, and gave a nod to Goa Tourism Development Corporation to introduce a mobile-app based taxi service in Goa. The State-wide strike was withdrawn three days later following an assurance that the government will file an intervention petition in the Supreme Court to seek relaxation for taxis in Goa. Transport Department issued a notification extending the deadline for installation of the gadget till July 18. 

Mining imbroglio

The Supreme Court of India on February 7 quashed second renewals of 88 leases and ordered a stoppage of operations after March 15. Panic, frustration and anguish are evident in the mining belt. Mining dependents and MLAs from the belt are restless as the government has so far failed to present a solution. The delay in holding a cabinet meeting has worsened the situation. There is also no concrete assurance from the Centre in resolving the crisis. Nearly two lakh people will be rendered jobless apart from financial impact on the State treasury.
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