Accusing Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led coalition government of greed, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday said that the BJP-led coalition government in Goa wanted to exhaust the state’s natural resources much like the farmer couple in the golden goose fable.
“If you listen to the speeches of BJP leaders, they tend to say they want to build a golden Goa. And everytime I hear that I think of that story. of the goose that laid the golden eggs. Of the farmer and his wife who found a goose selling golden eggs and they were enriching themselves by selling these golden eggs,” Gandhi said at an election campaign meeting in South Goa.
“And then one day they sat down, they became so greedy that they had a discussion that this goose must be having so many golden eggs inside, why don’t we just cut her up and take them out. And to me that is what is being done to your state. They are seeing resources, there is greed. They are seeing huge amounts of resources and they are wanting to take those resources to enrich themselves, rather than actually enriching the state,” she said.
The Congress official who is on a day-long campaign in the poll-bound state also said that the Goa government was trying to push through environmentally unfriendly projects solely to benefit one industrialist.
“You have the double laning of the highway, you have these three projects, highway expansion, double tracking and the electricity lines that are going through your natural habitat, carrying coal from one end to another only for the benefit of one single industrialist,” she said.
“Not a single youth from Goa is getting a single job out of this exercise. What are you getting, you are getting pollution, your environment is being destroyed. This is symbolic of what is happening to Goa,” she added.
Thousands of trees in the Western Ghats region of Goa are slotted for felling to facilitate three projects, including South Western Railway track expansion, national highway widening and drawing of a power line, across the protected forests in and around Mollem village located in the Western Ghats region. The Western Ghats have been recognised by UNESCO as a global biodiversity hotspot.
Opposition as well as civil society groups and tourism stakeholders bodies have expressed apprehension that the road and rail projects were being pushed at an “express pace” to facilitate movement of coal imported through the Mormugao Port Trust facility in Goa to steel mills in Karnataka’s Bellary district and nearby areas.