PANJIM: Goencho Avaaz has welcomed the MHA decision to operationalise the Dabolim airport, a demand that the people of Goa have been voicing since last two months, but flayed the government over the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
In the press release, Goencho Avaaz alleged that the main reason was attributed to the delay on the part of the State government in uploading the list of centres earmarked for quarantine, as warranted by the MHA guidelines released in early May 2020.
“It is also alleged in various quarters that there have been unreasonable demands by some vested interests to demand a commission/cut from hoteliers interested in including their premises as quarantine centres,” said Roshan Mathias, Executive Core Group Member & Coordinator for Goans Stranded Abroad.
He said many Goans stranded in the countries where they had sought employment have no money for paying their rent, nor sufficient food and allegations of such criminal acts by elected representatives to extract money from hoteliers, if true, amounts to organised extortion.
Goencho Avaaz also flayed Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant’s flip-flops on the quarantine issue.
“Goencho Avaaz would like to put on record that the State, under the Disaster Management Act 2005, has the authority to requisite hotels, guesthouses, institutions and provide the free quarantine facility for the stranded Goans. Unfortunately, it seems that in the last few weeks the government and its functionaries have been using this Act for only promoting irregularities and corruption rather than helping the stranded citizens,” Mathias alleged.
The reality remains that more money has been spent on people who are not from Goa rather than on our Goans.
“The Constitution of India gives its citizens the right to equality, which has been clearly invaded and compromised by having different yard sticks applied by the authorities for different people entering the State, smacks of corruption and an act of omission and commission. The preferential treatment accorded to a Bollywood personality in sending for home quarantine should also be done for other Goans entering the State,” he demanded.
He said it is a sad and sordid phase in the history of Goa and its citizens, amounts to shame and backstabbing by the very people, who were entrusted by the voters to look after the affairs of Goa and its people.
“If the government does not crack down and act upon the prevailing corrupt and inhuman practices thrust on the Goans stranded abroad, Goencho Avaaz will be forced to take up the matter to the peoples’ court, for which the politicians will have to pay for their acts of omission and commission,” he warned.