PANAJI: The Goa Pradesh Youth Congress on Friday held a protest against the haphazard, dangerous and the opaque manner in which works concerning the Panaji smart city are being undertaken by the city fathers completely ignoring the plight of the citizens and their concerns and queries.
Addressing the media at the Azad Maidan, state Youth Congress President Joel Andrade, said that the Smart City owes accountability to the people of Panjim who it has put through much suffering over the last three to four months.
“Where is the smart city plan and why are works being carried out in such a behind the scenes manner? Why is the website not updated with details of what is being done and how long it will take to complete it? For the last three to four months the people are facing hardships 3-4 months the work is going on but have little clue as to what is the benefit they will receive at the end of the work and how long it will take,” Andrade said.
“What is the government trying to hide? We being councillors are not being told what the works are. The mayor who is a member of the Smart City Board has refused to speak up on issues faced by the people of Panaji or share anything with him. Mayor has failed to take us into confidence. The works are affecting each resident, working class people who come to the city as well as tourists who come for sightseeing, leisure or anything like that. There is no engineer at the site to oversee or explain the nature of the work being undertaken,” he added.
“We have raised the issue with the traffic police, but they have said that they too have raised their objections with the smart city but they too have been ignored,” he said.
North Goa District President Rinaldo Rozario questioned the state government for what he said was huge corruption to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore in the name of smart city works.
“In the name of development, there is looting. We have to speak up and we condemn this. They dug the roads and then left them like that only, but for the casinos, they have resurfaced the roads overnight? Why is this being done? Because the casinos are dear to the government? Rozario charged.
South Goa District President Mahesh Nadar said that the shoddy works were a feature of the entire state and not restricted to Panjim.
“While making a smart city, we have to make sure it is a safe city also. You can’t dig the roads and leave them unattended. The government is least bothered about the fate of the people and their feelings. It looks like they are not interested in the people of the city but only to dress up the city for the G20 meeting,” Nadar said.
The local MLA goes on record to say that the people of Panjim are happy with the work and they have no problem. This is because the people of Panjim are not making their frustrations known. We are not hesitant to come on the roads and march to the ministers and chief minister’s houses.
More than 80 members of the youth Congress took part in the protest and raised slogans against the government.