Cannot seek livelihood, complain about pollution in same breath: Parrikar

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Panaji, Feb 6 (IANS) It is not possible to seek jobs and other means of livelihood and at the same time complain about pollution, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, while flaying coal pollution-related protests in South Goa’s Vasco port town, 35 km from Panaji.

Speaking at a public meeting in South Goa’s Curchorem-Quepem area, 50 km south of the state capital, Parrikar said that Goan youths were unwilling to take up jobs involving hard labour and urged them to stop relying on government jobs as a means of employment.

“One has to fill one’s stomach and not have pollution at the same time. How is that possible? Pollution also includes car (emissions)… if someone builds a house, that also causes pollution. That also creates dust,” Parrikar said during the meeting in Curchorem-Quepem, a hub for coal transportation.

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“Let the people from Vasco handle the coal pollution, if they can. The pollution will anyway happen in Vasco, it will not reach you. In fact, you suffer more from mining pollution. Curchorem was cleaner when the mining had stopped,” the Chief Minister said.

“Focus more on toilets rather than coal (pollution),” the Chief Minister added.

The issue of coal pollution erupted in Goa after the Mormugao Port Trust, the state’s only major port, sought permission from the Ministry for Environment and Forests for redevelopment and expansion of four berths at the port.

Three companies operate coal handling berths at the port namely Adani Group, JSW Steel and Vedanta.

The project has seen popular objection from the opposition as well as civil society activists, who have complained of large-scale pollution emanating from the proposed increased handling of coal.

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Parrikar said that Goan youths shy away from hard manual labour like working on trawlers, driving mining trucks and working as sewage management supervisors.

“Goans cannot or do not want to do hard labour,” he said, urging the local youths to become more enterprising.

Parrikar also said that he was not in favour of recruiting teachers through political favours.

“There are many posts, like teachers posts. Should these be given by favouring someone? I am asking this question to everyone. That will mean your children will be duffers. A teacher has to be first of all driven by his/her heart to teach,” the Chief Minister said.

–IANS

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