Claiming that he has managed to address all the issues people have faced in his constituency, South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar speaks to Julio D’silva about various development works completed, several key demands of Goans taken up at the Centre; and he further offers his take on the contentious mining issue
South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar appeared pleased as a punch with his work as the representative of Mormugao constituency in the Lok Sabha and said he has addressed all the issues that the people faced besides using the MPLAD funds to strengthen and improve the education sector.
He pointed out that making SSC mandatory for Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) has been dispensed with, following his intervention as Goan seafarers were facing a problem, since many of them had started working on foreign vessels before completing their SSC or before it was made mandatory for CDC.
Inaugurating the Passport Seva Kendra at Margao was another achievement, he said. While admitting that presently only the basic services are provided at the Margao Passport Seva Kendra, he said it will ultimately turn into a full-fledged passport office like the one at Panjim.
“It gives me great pride that the major developmental works, Goa has got from the Centre are located in South Goa like roads and bridges,” he said while adding that the IIT is coming up in Sanguem and NIT is coming up in Cuncolim.
Besides, Narendra was happy that he has improved connectivity in South Goa and said 9 towers have been installed in Sanguem, Quepem, Loutolim, Sanvordem, Shiroda and other places to improve telephone coverage.
“Following the Prime Minister’s advice to adopt a village, I had adopted Khola village and 50 per cent of the works proposed under the Gram Panchayat Development Plan for the village have been completed,” he said.
He said that besides constructing roads and drains, Khola village has now got ATM banking facility. “The old water supply line has been replaced and the entire village is now electrified besides constructing a new school building in the village,” added Narendra.
He took pride in the fact that MPLAD funds were utilized judiciously to strengthen and improve the education system. “I have provided computers, laptops and projectors for schools besides also constructing playgrounds at Nagoa, Betalbatim, Ponda and Sanguem under MPLAD scheme,” he said adding that CCTV cameras have also been provided to many villages.
Replying to a question he said the mining issue is very complex as mining was banned following a Supreme Court order and various options including a revision petition or an amendment were considered. “I am confident that this problem will be solved but it will take some time as too many parameters are involved and all need to be addressed,” he said.
He said though Goa has not been given special status, the Centre has treated the tiny State as very special. “The amount of funds allotted by Centre for infrastructure development in Goa and other projects like setting up IIT and NIT in Goa is akin to treating Goa as a special state,” he said.