Controversial IIT project at Loliem set for tug-of-war
21st March 2017, 06:59 Hrs
In a strange win-win situation, both supporters and opponents of the controversial IIT project being planned atop the Bhagwati plateau at Loliem in Canacona would be pleased by the recent assembly election results.
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The pro-IIT lobby would be relieved to have the BJP-led government back in power, especially since the previous BJP-led government had fully backed the IIT project at Loliem. It would be further pleased by the fact that IIT-ian Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to vigorously pursue the project.
On the other hand, the anti-IIT lobby would be jubilant by the victory of Canacona MLA Isidore Fernandes, as he had been vocal in his opposition to the project at
Loliem well before his poll campaign.
Reiterating his stand on the issue, Fernandes said he would oppose the IIT project on Bhagwati plateau, but said the proposed project could be set up elsewhere in the taluka.
“I will use all my power to oppose the IIT project proposed on Bhagatwati plateau, where residents have serious, unequivocal and reasonable opposition. I am not opposed to the IIT project and would welcome it anywhere else in the taluka,” said Fernandes.
“Since there is opposition to the project at Loliem, we can ask people to search and identify a suitable place elsewhere in the taluka. Our taluka and constituency has vast unused land,” said Fernandes.
Will not make difference who forms govt to promote development: Canacona MLA
CANACONA: Claiming that he shares a good rapport with the new BJP-led government in the State, Canacona’s Congress MLA Isidore Fernandes said it would not make a difference who formed the government in his efforts to promote development in his constituency.
“I share a cordial and friendly relationship with all our elected representatives and colleagues. In fact, all 40 MLAs constitute the assembly and have to participate, directly and indirectly, in the governance of the State,” said Fernandes.
“No government can block development paths anywhere and as it is obligatory on the part of government to carry out development and Canacona constituency can’t be exception. As far as Canacona is concerned, there won’t be any hindrances with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar,” he said.
Asked to list out priorities for Canacona constituency, Fernandes replied: “I have a long list of priorities for the people of Canacona, but my efforts will be to provide proper and better water and electricity supply, improvement in medical facilities, better toilet facilities to all residents, maintenance of roads and generating and providing employment.”
“There’s an immediate need to streamline all government departments in the taluka. No person need to be given preferences, but every constituent should be treated equally,” he said.
Fernandes, however, felt that the BJP-led coalition government would succumb to its own misdeed and would not last long. He also took a dig at Vishwajit Rane, who resigned as Congress MLA of Valpoi.
Fernandes, who began his political career as a councillor in the then Panjim Municipal Council, unsuccessfully contested as an independent candidate from Poinguinim constituency in 1994. He then contested again and got elected as Poinguinim MLA in 1999. In 2002, Isidore won as a Congress MLA but resigned in 2004 and got re-elected on the BJP ticket. He resigned again within a few months to contest again on the Congress ticket, but lost to BJP candidate Tawadkar.