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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Ajgaonkar cornered over beach cleaning contract in Assembly

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Porvorim: The Opposition Benches in Legislative Assembly on Wednesday targeted State Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar over a contract to clean beaches of the State.

The Congress MLAs including Philip Neri Rodrigues, Digambar Kamat and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco cornered Ajgaonkar for allowing a private firm – Drishti Lifesaving Services Private Limited – to continue with the beach cleaning for a period of two years without tendering the work.

Ajgaonkar said that the department has already initiated the process to appoint new agency to clean the beaches, which will be completed soon.

“It’s a commitment of the State government that we keep our beaches clean. The fresh tender for the beach cleaning work has been issued on October 20, 2018 and technical bids were opened on December 05, 2018,” he said.

The minister said that the process of tendering has been taken up as per the guidelines of Central Vigilance Commission, making it transparent.

Responding to questions, Ajgaonkar said that Drishti Lifesaving Services which was assigned the work of beach cleaning on December 17, 2016 as a “stop gap arrangement” continued the work till last year when they decided to opt out asking for hike in the fees paid to them.

“After the firm refused to continue work, the Tourism department on their own, began cleaning the beaches but since they could not cope up with it, the Drishti was given the work again,” he said.

The minister said the garbage collected by the beach cleaning contractor from North and South Goa is segregated in situ as well as places identified at the beaches and the segregated garbage is then transported to Saligao Waste Treatment Plant in North Goa.

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