The Aam Aadmi Party has termed the CZMP a fraud and has demanded that the voice of the people be heard and the ‘mindless’ exercise of a minister holding public hearings in different talukas against the will of the people was a wasteful exercise. AAP said that the same should be withdrawn forthwith as procedure adopted was faulty. Speaking to media in Panaji today, AAP Convenor Elvis Gomes said that the so called public consultations at Taluka level was a contradiction in itself as the CZMA has referred the objections and suggestions of the people to the NCSCM in Chennai and until the plan was drawn afresh, there was no point in holding public consultation based on old plan which was rejected by the people. Reading out the excerpts from the notice dated 11/07/2019 issued by the Director of Environment, Gomes said that the notice did not spell out anywhere that a minister would preside over such public hearings and that his presence may intimidate citizens from expressing their views.
AAP General Secretary Pradeep Padgaonkar was critical of the Minister Nilesh Cabral who he said was blaming NGOs for ‘misguiding people’. “ Did the Minister not know that there were Sarpanchas and Panchas at the meeting in Pernem and with them nearly a 1000 people opposing the CZMP ? Are they all NGOs ? NGOs have awakened the consciousness of the people against the sinister designs of the Government. If not for the NGOs, people like you would have sold Goa long ago. Are we going to accept a ‘Maharaj’ at the cost of ‘Swaraj’ in a democratic set up ? ” asked Padgaonkar accusing Cabral of arrogance. AAP follows ‘swaraj which is voice to the people’ as its dharma and will protect it by all means, said Padgaonkar.
AAP leader Ramiro Mascarenhas who is in the forefront of the people’s movement against CZMPs said that Cabral had already admitted that the Government did not have the required data upon which the CZMP could be based and wondered as to why the CZMP was sought to be pushed against the will of the people. “The CZMP is relying on 1971 base maps. Let them come to the people and draw the plan instead of doing it in the corporate offices” said Ramiro.
Environment leader of AAP Sidharth Karapurkar took on the erstwhile ministers in the Goa Forwrd who failed to stop the nationalisation of the rivers of Goa despite being in the Government and now were indulging in empty talk about coal jetties.
Meanwhile responding to a query from reporters about seizure of ‘Ganja Packets in Panaji from migrant labour staying at Campal ground, Gomes said that Goa had become a leading drugs and narcotics hub in the Country and drugs proliferation was due to the extreme political pressure on the enforcement agencies which were not given a free hand due to nexus of the powerful with the drugs mafia. “Ketamine was found in the shed alloted to a BJP functionary. What the politicians who are ‘here today and and there tomorrow’, say about drugs is not important. Whether the Narcotics and Psychotropic substances Act is allowed to be enforced is critical to eradicate the menace” said Gomes stating that the BJP Government never had the will to curb drugs. Gomes also said that they were opposed to the Garbage plant in Bainguinim at Old Goa as AAP did not believe in such mega garbage plants that were failures but were serving interests of the political class as money spinners. Gomes also came hard on the Government for it’s flip flops on National Games stating that it was inviting curses in the state for complete insensitivity to sportspersons.