PANJIM: Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavlikar, who had demanded an apology from Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa for his country’s “oppressive colonial rule in Goa,” now wants Goa to follow Portugal’s model of development.
After signing an MoU between Portuguese Ministry and Goa government, Dhavlikar said that considering Goa’s past link with Portugal, it is looking for Portuguese model of development.
“Goa is proud to have understanding with Portugal, because prior to liberation of the State in the year 1961, Portugal was ruling in Goa and that time, they had implemented lot of developmental issues (projects). Now considering all this, we can definitely think over, in future, regarding development of Goa based on Portugal model,” he said addressing press conference in the presence of Portuguese Ministry of Environment Joao Pedro De Matos Fernandes and others in the capital on Saturday.
Dhavlikar told reporters that they were in discussion with Portugal about some dilapidated Portuguese-era Houses in Goa, because its owners, residing in Portugal have left it unmaintained.
Commenting on the MoU, Dhavalikar said that he was confident to see new opportunities and possibilities of collaboration with Portugal in the key areas.
“Indeed, it is a significant move to collaborate (with Portugal) to develop common initiatives for water supply and wastewater management in the State of Goa,” he said adding, “The work will also be done on Sewage Water Treatment Plant on pilot basis in Valpoi town in North Goa and also removal of manganese in Selaulim Reservoir apart from capacity building,” Dhavalikar said.
Infrastructural development, touristic importance and maintenance of different beaches are on the agenda of Goa and Portugal even as discussions to jointly work in these areas have already taken place.
Consequent to the signing of the MoU, Dhavlikar said he along with a team of engineers will visit Portugal to work together for beneficial of both the countries.
Portugal’s Environment Minister Fernandes recalled Portugal PM’s statement during his visit to Goa in January 2017 that Portugal is committed to work on various issues with India.
He further stated that prime ministers of both the countries - Portugal and India - had identified water and waste management as some of the priority issues for bilateral cooperation. “We have nothing to teach but to share things with India, and develop specific solutions for Goa and India,” he added.
Spelling out their experience on the use of the technologies in Portugal, Fernandes recalled that around 20 years ago Portugal had exactly same problems that Goa is facing in the field of water supply, waste water management and sanitation.
“In these 20 years Portugal is very proud of what we have done in our country. We invested about 10 billion Euros in last 20-25 years. In the field of waste water treatment, 20 years ago, only 60 beaches in Portugal had perfect water for swimming and now they are more than 330,” he said claiming that problems between Portugal and India may be similar but the solutions differ. “I can give you a personal commitment that Portugal will do all its best to serve the goals of MOU. MoU is just a beginning of work between both the countries,” he assured.
PWD Chief Engineer Uttam Parsekar who gave an overview of the MoU said the joint study by the teams from Portugal and Goa will help contain manganese content in the Selaulim dam.