Union Minister today said although the Centre was willing to fund many projects in Goa, the state government officials were dragging their feet on those proposals. “I will appeal to the Goa government. In many projects, we are ready to fund, but the state departments are dragging their feet over the proposals,” the Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways said.
“I am very strict as far as my department is concerned. We are ready to provide money to construct jetties, but the state government officials are moving very slowly,” Gadkari alleged.
He said his ministry has sanctioned jetties for places like Old Goa, Banastarim, Borim, Shiroda, Durbhat, Cortalim, Aldona, Bicholim and Ribander.
“We will fund the construction of jetties for sure. I want the work on it to start. We will also finance the development of Mandovi and Zuari rivers as waterways. This will generate employment in Goa,” he said.
“I want the fishermen to come ahead and join us in the ‘Sagar Mala’ project. This is a good scheme. Today, I have sanctioned nine jetties for cargo and passengers,” Gadkari said after laying foundation stones for ferry service building, RFID Gate Access system at Mormugao Port Trust and Cruise Building at Vasco, 40 kms away from here.
The minister, who held discussion with Member of Parliament Narendra Sawaikar and local BJP legislator Carlose Almeida in Vasco over the proposed projects, said there is a possibility of integrated development of the state.
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Appealing to the fishermen to invest in buying passenger vessels, Gadkari said, “People arriving in Goa will go to Panaji using waterways. There will also be employment to the ship owners. You should also invest in new vessels. The local people should be benefited.”
The minister said a harbour will also be built, which will help the fishing community.
“In the Sagar Mala project, the Goa government has a right to allow fishing till 12 nautical miles, after that the right lies with the Central government. Within 12 nautical miles there is not much catch. For that, we need a big mechanised trawlers.
“Therefore, we have formulated a policy for small fishermen, they can buy trawlers in partnership or by forming societies. If fishermen go beyond 12 nautical miles, then fish production will go up four-fold,” he said.
Stressing on the construction of new sea ports, Gadkari said the Ministry was trying to connect Girgaum chowpatty in Mumbai to Goa via sea plane and Vasai-Virar to Shirdi.
“This will give impetus to tourism and employment. We have already started work worth Rs 4.5 lakh crore under the Sagar Mala project,” he said.