Protest against Goa industrial hubs threatens to spoil New Year bash

December 25th, 2007 - 12:40 pm ICT by admin  

Benaulim Beach/Panjim, Dec 25 (ANI): Tourists in Goa have been asked to leave the State by December 28 as anti-Special Economic Zone (SEZ) activists have threatened to start a month-long agitation.
The Goa Movement Against SEZs (GMAS) has the support of NGOs and political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“The whole of Goa is opposed to SEZs. Even village council, has said that they don’t want SEZs. The NCP and all opposition parties are opposing it. It’s not that we don’t want tourists, but we want them to sacrifice one season. One year in solidarity with the people of Goa, who will suffer forever, plus the tourists themselves will not come to Goa anymore,” said Mathany Saldhana, the convener of GMAS.
The State administration has beefed police patrolling and assured safety of the tourists.
“I will make sure that every tourist will be secure here. We will take every precaution to make their holidays perfect,” said Micky Pacheco, Tourism Minister.
Many tourists, foreign and domestic, who have already flocked the state, said the government should be sensitive to the people’s concerns.
“It is very important that government makes the rule and that people listened to that but as I understood there are people who feel that they are so independent that they can do everything in Goa,” said Paul from the Netherlands.
The State Government, led by Congress party, has notified three SEZs while the Central Cabinet has approved four more while 11 projects are pending.
The Congress-led coalition had embarked on an ambitious plan to revitalize industry through setting up of SEZ projects in its quest for ten per cent annual economic growth. The countrys SEZ policies have come under fire of late, with regular protests this year across the country over acquisition of farmland for industry.
The protesters insist that the policy would not create the number of jobs its supporters envisage. (ANI)

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