Herald: MPT under fire for proposing restrictions at public hearing

MPT under fire for proposing restrictions at public hearing

01 Oct 2018 05:49am IST

Report by
Team Herald

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01 Oct 2018 05:49am IST

Report by
Team Herald

Trust’s board suggested limiting time slot for each speaker and disallowing repetition of subject

MARGAO: The proceedings of 11th board meeting of the present Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) board states that the time slot for each speaker will be limited and repetition of subject will not be permitted.

This has led to a backlash from activists and Vasco citizens particularly on social media. Peter Andrade who posted the copy of the proceeding on facebook called it ‘dadagiri’ by central puppets in MPT.

Andrade stated that a public hearing on environmental effects of a proposed project is conducted to know public opinion, wherein the common man can voice his views in a free and fair manner. “The modalities of the meeting are decided by the Collector who is the presiding officer. Is the MPT trying to teach the Collector how to conduct a meeting?” he questioned. 

Sanjay Redkar, another Vasco resident who during last year’s public hearing for coal berth expansion and capital dredging, had raised objections and questioned the authorities for around two hours, stated that it is the right of the public to speak and ask questions to the authorities. “Whatever clarifications we want, the MPT has to answer. It may take one or two hours so the MPT cannot put restrictions on that.”

Condemning MPTs statements, Savio Correa of Vasco said that he hopes the collector would conduct the proceedings in a democratic and transparent manner just like it was conducted by Additional Collector Johnson Fernandes last year. “Everyone should be given adequate opportunity to express their views,” he said.

The Environmental Impact Assessment report is more than 500 pages long and therefore MPT cannot restrict the time limit of each speaker. Last year, the public hearings went on for a total of 8 days. The hearings for each of the three projects lasted for three to four days.
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