VASCO: The youth from the villages of Mormugao taluka on Tuesday had a four-hour long interactive session with the State Power Minister Nilesh Cabral in Bogmalo on the three linear projects that are witnessing strong opposition from the people across Goa. The minister tried to answer almost all questions during the session.
The youth, especially the Chicalim Youth Farmers Club (CYFC) asked the minister over 50 questions on the technicalities, pros and cons and impact of these three linear projects on Goa's environment.
After a prolonged discussion, Cabral informed media that he received several messages from the youth inviting him for a discussion on the three linear projects.
“On Tuesday I met the youth and had a discussion on coal handling and three linear projects. They asked several questions and I answered them. I am not saying that they are convinced but there will be two more sessions with them," he said.
The minister informed that he has assured the youth to take them to Xeldem power substation. “They have requested me to take them to Mollem as well,” he said.
Stating that some youth have given him representations, he appreciated them for volunteering to get more information on the three linear projects.
"I have assured them that the government is for the youth and I also explained to them why these projects are required especially the Tamnar line".
Meanwhile, Neha Gaude of the Chicalim Youth Farmers Club said, “The Environment Minister came to meet us and said that he supports the youth. During the interactive session we questioned him on various aspects related to three linear projects. Although he explained to us many things but we still are not sure about the three linear projects. He assured us that if one tree is cut then three trees will be planted to save the environment.”
Another youth Mervyn Pereira said, "We spoke about the three projects with the minister. He assured that there will be a legislation to see that coal transportation is minimised and not done outside Goa. Only the required coal quantity for Goa will be allowed because they cannot stop everything".
"We were assured that afforestation will be done not only in Karnataka but also in Goa and that there will be an agreement wherein if these trees are not planted again and not taken care off then action will be taken against the companies. Cabral also expressed his willingness to talk to the people and admitting errors on the part of the government, said they didn’t have a public consultation and that the same could be rectified. He also stressed that the change has to be among the people and the ministers. Everyone has to come together and work as one," Pereira added.
Chicalim parish priest Fr Bolmax Pereira said, “The Power Minister came to meet the youth as they raised several questions with regards to the three linear projects. So minister agreed to have a direct interaction with youth and we appreciate that. It was a long discussion and question and answer session. I am not very sure whether the youth are convinced with the minister’s answers. But the good thing is the positivity between the minister and the youth in which latter had the freedom to ask questions related to the projects".