Goa Cong manifesto to seek inspiration from Mashelkar’s vision document

Insight Online News

Panaji, Oct 6 : The Goa Congress will draw inspiration from a vision document compiled by former Director General of the Council for Science and Industrial Research Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, to draft its manifesto for the 2022 state assembly polls.

Interestingly, the report drafted by the committee ‘Goa 2035: Vision and Strategy’ headed by Mashelkar in 2012 has recommended toning of both excessive mining and unplanned tourism in the coastal state.

“When we draft our manifesto we are thinking of incorporating certain things from that report. That report was prepared by eminent personalities,” Kamat said.

“Unfortunately, when the report was submitted, I was not the Chief Minister. The report was kept under wraps. We are going through the report now,” Kamat, a former Chief Minister, also said.

The Mashelkar-headed committee was appointed when Kamat was the Chief Minister of Goa from 2007 to early 2012, but the report was submitted after Kamat lost power, and another dispensation led by the BJP assumed power under the leadership of former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar, which chose to keep the report under wraps.

While the committee was headed by Mashelkar, it comprised of renowned personalities like former chairman of the Atomic Energy Establishment Dr Anil Kakodkar, economist and former professor of economics at Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad Prof Errol D’Souza, litterateur like Girish Karnad, environmentalist like Prof Madhav Gadgil, architect Charles Correia, among others.

The vision document had recommended that mining in Goa should be curbed to one third of the quantum of ore extraction at the time.

“Close all mines that have been extracting ore beyond limits allowed by environmental clearance given… Close all mines, if any, operating within the sanctuaries and protected areas and cancel leases in ESZs as proposed by the Panel… Mining leases in WL Sanctuaries to be permanently cancelled… and mining leases in the buffer of dams to be terminated,” the report had said.

“A cap on mining at around 20 MMT (exclusive of dump mining) between 2010-2015 to reduce the ecosystem and social stress in the region… The companies do acknowledge that there is considerable social disaffection and that the mining industry could and should do much more for local people. Many of them did reiterate that the social fabric is stressed,” it had added.

Vis a vis the tourism sector, the committee had suggested that the Goa government’s thrust of promoting Goa as a destination for sun, sand and fun should also be toned down and said that the position of the tourists state should be more broad-based.

“There is a need to review the Goa Tourism Policy and evaluate its direct and significant impact on the Goan culture and heritage. Goa is not only the land of sun & sand but a state having (a) rich yet diverse mosaic of culture blended with religious and communal harmony,” the Vision document had said.

IANS / AGENCY

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