Anti-SEZ agitation on hold till Jan 2 on CM's assurance

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Panaji, Dec 29 (UNI) The Goa's Movement Against SEZs (GMAS), an agitation demanding scrapping of all the Special Economic Zones in the state, has been put on hold till January 2 next following an interaction the leaders had today with Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.

The Chief Minister assured the GMAS delegation at his Altinho official residence that the government would come out with its decision whether to have the SEZs or not on January 2.

The delegation included the GMAS coordinator and former minister Mathanhy Saldanha and BJP opposition leader Manohar Parrikar among others.

They called on the Chief Minister on his invitation to discuss the issue.

The GMAS, comprising a coalition of non-Congress political parties and several NGOs, has been demanding scrapping of the SEZs on the plea that they do not suit the requirement of Goa.

Their establishment, the activists fear, would change the demographic contours of the tourist state besides straining the already strained resources such as water, electricity and land and would invite huge influx of migrants and attendant evils.

The activists had even warned the tourists to quit Goa by December 28 as the agitation was likely to take an ''ugly turn'' causing concern in the government circles.

The police, suo moto, has filed a criminal case of ''intimidation'' against Mr Saldanha following the ultimatum to tourists.

It has also deployed additional police force including three companies of central para military forces to ensure peace and tranquillity during the peak tourist season.


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