Congress wants Goa golf course project scrapped

Panaji, June 5 (IANS) The Goa Congress Wednesday demanded the scrapping of a golf course project in the coastal village of Tiracol, in north Goa, whose villagers, the party says, are being forced to leave their homes to facilitate the “eco-tourism” project.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, party spokesperson Reginaldo Lourenco said the project was wrought with corruption and that the state administration was forcibly ousting villagers from their homes to facilitate the project.

“On the one hand, the BJP government wants special status for Goa to protect the state’s unique identity and on the other, it is forcibly vacating people from their own homes to promote a golf course,” Lourenco said, adding that the ruling party had “sold off” to corporates.

The project, Lourenco said, should be scrapped and all the permissions given to it as an “eco-tourism” venture by the Goa government’s tourism department should be withdrawn.

The proposed golf course, promoted by a leading hospitality chain, is spread over 12.50 lakh sq metres in the north Goan village of Tiracol, located 50 km from here, on the Goa-Maharashtra border.

While a good number of residents of the village, who have been living there for generations, sold their rights to the golf course promoting company, a resolute group of over 30 residents has been holding out for the last four years, ever since the project was formally given the nod by the erstwhile Congress government.

Now Lourenco claims that both Congress ministers who sanctioned the project as well as BJP cabinet ministers responsible for it should be booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

“The promoters of the project as well as the state government administration, who have been threatening people to move out of their holdings, should be arrested for coercing residents to move,” Lourenco said.

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