CORTALIM MLA ALINA SALDANHA EXPRESSES SHOCK OVER DGP’S STATEMENT ON LINEAR PROJECTS

VASCO: Cortalim MLA Alina Saldhana on Thursday said that she was surprised that Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Kumar Meena is promoting the three linear projects that are destructive in nature.

Alina said, “The Police who are the custodians of the State’s law and order machinery should primarily focus upon law and order within the State by bringing down the escalating crime index as well as other illegal and anti-social activities that are plaguing the State.  

“I also want to know from the DGP whether any changes have recently been introduced in the Forest Conservation Act 1980 to allow these projects, because I remember, when I held the portfolio of Forest Minister (2012-2015), I tried through a Private Forest Management Plan to give some concessions to the owners of the private forest by appealing to Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF),”said Alina.

” What I had asked from private Forest owners was a small percentage of private forest land for eco-tourism, cultivation of fruit bearing trees and 5% of the area for construction for family needs only, as and when and the reply from MoEF was very precise and the Goa Forest Department was asked to drop all such plans as the requests could not be considered under Forest Conservation Act 1980,” she said.

The former Minister said being in the Indian Forest Service in the past, the DGP has to be aware of the stringent rules and regulations that govern the protected and other forest areas through the Forest Conservation Act 1980. Alina said, “Ours is a democratic government ie a government that is of the people, for the people and by the people and therefore the police should not interfere in the activities related to the welfare of the State of Goa and its people, especially when the people of Goa have been agitating peacefully against the destructive projects. Lastly, the police who is the custodian of the State’s law and order machinery should primarily focus upon law and order within the state by bringing down the escalating crime index as well as other illegal and anti-social activities that are presently plaguing the State.”

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