Goa's Movement Against SEZs reiterates scrapping of all SEZs

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Panaji, Dec 18 (UNI) Warning of intensified agitation, Goa's Movement Against SEZs, a conglomeration of non-Congress political parties and NGOs, here today reiterated its demand for scrapping of all proposed 18 projects, which it claimed were meant for destroying the tourist state.

Addressing a well attended public meeting at Azad Maidan here this evening, its leaders alleged that the proposed SEZs were aimed to benefit the real estate agents and involved kick-backs, and the influx of migrants from outside is changing the demographic set up.

''It is now or never. Our land and future is at stake. Each of us who love Goa, join the movement to say no to the SEZs. We do not want SEZs but clean water. Eighteen SEZs in Goa for whose sake?,'' some of the placards at the meeting read.

Land allotment for SEZs is a licence to sell Goa, said a huge banner, displayed on the stage, where all the partners of the movement voiced their concern.

Creating 9,27,100 jobs through SEZs meant inviting about 28 lakh migrants into already congested Goa with attendent evils and drain on precious resources like ground water, electricity and land, the speakers pointed out.

Addressing the meeting, the BJP opposition leader and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar urged the people to preserve Goa for posterity by opposing the SEZs and IT and Food Parks which, he argued, the state does not require.

''Keep politics aside and be united to save Goa for future. We invite IT industry on the lines of Bangalore and Mumbai, not for promoting the real estate like in Goa,'' he said.

Mr Parrikar complimented unattached legislator and former minister Atanasio Monserrate (Babush) for standing behind the people of Taleigao against setting up of the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat aimed at benefitting the real estate business.

Social activist and spokesperson of Utt Goenkara asked the people to join the movement before Goa was sold out for realtors. He blamed Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for executing the agenda of his predecessor Pratapsinh Rane to destroy Goa.

Prominent among those who participated in the awareness campaign included coordinator of the Movement and former minister Mathanhy Saldanha, former chief minister Shashikala Kakodkar (MGP), North Goa MP Shripad Naik, several BJP legislators, Shiv Sena president of Goa unit Upendra Gaocar, former Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president and rebel Nirmala Sawant.


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