PANAJI: Former Pernem MLA Rajendra Arlekar, on Monday, stated that the Minister for Tourism and the present Pernem MLA Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar should first resign as the minister and then stage agitations, thus preventing giving bad image to the post he is presently holding in the state cabinet.
It may be recalled that Ajgaonkar, demanding employment for the locals, had marched to the site of the under-construction Mopa International Greenfield Airport, along with his supporters, last week, and stopped the work in progress, further demanding such written assurance from the government.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Arlekar said that in a democracy, every individual can have his personal view. “I respect the view of Ajgaonkar on his demand of employment for the locals from Pernem,” he added, pointing out, “However, since he is a part of the government, his opposition to the government policies does not auger well.”
Speaking further, Arlekar said that the Mopa Airport is the joint project of the central as well as the state government, and since Ajgaonkar is a part of the state government, he had no business to oppose the government project, for that matter lead a morcha and physically stop the ongoing work.
“Furthermore, it is also amateurish on the part of the Minister for Tourism to demand jobs even before the construction of first phase of the airport is complete,” he noted.
“For that matter, when the GMR Airports Ltd was selected to handle the Mopa Airport project and the state government signed a related concession agreement with it, a clause was included into this contract that Goans would be employed in various jobs created at the airport,” Arlekar recalled, maintaining that the GMR Airports Ltd has already started recruiting Goans, if they are skilled enough and suit these jobs.
“Furthermore, the government has also agreed for utilisation of the Tuem-based Industrial Training Institute (ITI), in Pernem taluka, for training the local youth so that their services could be availed for the Mopa Airport,” he stated, noting that one however cannot force the company to induct Goans in the jobs related to the proposed airport, if they are unfit for the same.
Source:: The Navhind Times