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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Piyush Goyal urges ‘mass movement’ against those opposed to ‘development’

Piyush Goyal said NGOs and activists were obstructing justice for the poor of India by opposing the government’s developmental work.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2019 15:20 IST
Gerard de Souza
Gerard de Souza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
Goyal was referring to the stay granted by the Supreme Court on the construction of a new international airport in Goa.  (Photo @PiyushGoyal)
Goyal was referring to the stay granted by the Supreme Court on the construction of a new international airport in Goa. (Photo @PiyushGoyal)
         

Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal came under fire from the Congress and social activists after he called for a ‘mass movement’ against those who oppose the government’s development projects which he said was the worst form of obstructing justice for the poor in India.

“I don’t mind on the public platform to fold my hands and appeal to those NGOs and those few people who are coming in the path of development, who are not helping Goa grow, who are not helping the cause of the people of Goa by this form of litigation. It is the worst form of obstructing justice for the poor of India, for providing a better quality of life for the poor people,” Goyal said Saturday at the concluding ceremony of the Vibrant Goa business conclave.

The Union minister said, “It is high time that there is a mass movement of the people of India and the people of Goa who oppose these forces, who are not allowing development to happen in Goa.”

Also read: Goa CM promises to cut red tape, grant approval to investors within 30 days

Goyal was referring to the stay granted by the Supreme Court on the construction of a new international airport in Goa. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court directed the Goa government and the construction company to maintain status quo on the under construction of a new airport in Goa’s north and asked that the environmental impact study be conducted afresh.

Similarly, the expansion of Goa’s Mormugao Port to allow for berthing capesize vessels was stopped by the National Green Tribunal after the tribunal found that going ahead with the project without a mandatory public hearing vitiated the process of grant of an environmental clearance.

“[They] are not allowing good roads, hotels, airports, the expansion of the port. All of these will help Goa grow and become a world class destination, a world class state which can make each one of Goa’s residents lead a quality life comparable with the best in the world,” Goyal said.

The Opposition Congress denounced Goyal saying he does not understand the ‘gravity’ of haphazard development calling the statement “undemocratic, dictatorial and anti environment and unbecoming of a union minister.”

“The local NGOs are fighting to preserve the identity, cultural heritage, nature and environment of Goa. Goans want sustainable development of the state by preserving its environment and identity,” State Congress President Girish Chodankar said.

Abhijeet Prabhudesai of the Federation of Rainbow Warriors whose petition stopped the work at the new airport, accused Goyal of trying to erode constitutional values and rights.

“We have not stopped any project. It is the courts that have brought the projects to a halt. We have only pointed out to the courts how the law has been flouted. The same laws enacted by the government. It is our constitutional duty to do this and what Goyal is trying to do is erode the constitutional values and rights that have been enshrined, Prabhudesai said.