Panaji: Admitting that coal pollution in the port town of Vasco is an issue for the April 23 Lok Sabha elections in Goa, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that a solution for the same would come as soon as the parliamentary election in the country ends.
Minister for Panchayati Raj Mauvin Godinho, speaking on the issue, said that even though there is a general perception that coal pollution is haunting the port town, on many occasions the dust comes from the side shouldering of the roads.
“We have come to know about it by way of the equipments used by the Goa State Pollution Control Board,” he noted, informing that once the election model code of conduct is lifted, Public Works Minister Deepak Pauskar would be requested to repair such muddy side shouldering of the Vasco roads by laying either chequered tiles or constructing footpaths.
The Minister for Panchayati Raj stated that the BJP government in the state desires to have activities at the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT); however, it is concerned about the environment in Mormugao taluka.
“It is our consistent stand that the port activities including handling of all cargo should continue, but at the same time strong anti-pollution measures must be taken up,” he added, pointing out that the government, after the end of the ongoing elections, would suggest the MPT to construct a dome-like structure so as to cover all the coal-handling activities at the port.
Godinho was addressing the pressmen during a function at the city BJP headquarters, wherein the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant admitted Shekhar Khadapkar and his supporters from Mormugao taluka into the BJP fold.
Speaking further, Godinho said that the people of the port town have already expressed their trust in the BJP government, and further requested the government to take measures for controlling coal pollution. “Coal pollution in Vasco actually aggravated when the port town experienced heavy winds,” he maintained, informing that during such time the government, through the Goa State Pollution Control Board, stopped the coal handling activities at the port, for some time till the required measures were taken up.
Replying to a question as to why the state BJP unit is giving entry to large number of people in the party, even though the elections in Goa are round the corner, the Chief Minister said that the reply would come through huge leads taken by the BJP candidates against their rivals, at the elections.
Answering another question, Sawant said that today there is no need for the BJP to run a separate Mission Salcete. “The Catholic voters in Salcete taluka are with the BJP and very well know the importance of development of Goa,” he added, pointing out that they would now vote for the progress of the state.
Godinho, replying to the same query, said that the Catholic voters from the Salcete taluka have already admitted of being misguided on various issues, and now understood the same. “I have told them that no one (in the BJP) is against the minorities and eight BJP MLAs including two ministers and a Deputy Speaker, who belong to a minority community are with them,” he noted.
It was further informed that a large public meeting would be held in Dabolim constituency, on April 20, and will be addressed by Godinho and Khadapkar.
Source:: The Navhind Times