Goa Congress on Monday raised questions on the state government’s ropeway project connecting Panaji to Reis Magos village situated across Mandovi river, asking whether it is a domestic project or one developed by China.
Goa tourism department has proposed the project between the two locations, to be be operated by a private firm on five per cent revenue sharing basis with the government.
“Though we don’t oppose the ropeway project per se, it has many questions that need to be answered. What is conspicuously absent is the time frame for which the project is to be completed?,” Goa Congress spokesman Trajano D’Mello told reporters on Monday.
He said Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has on record mentioned that the private company (which will run the project) is sole distributor in India for Beijing Goodyou Ropeway Eng Co Ltd, the largest ropeway manufacturing firm of China.
“Government should come out clean whether the ropeway project will be a China-made project or an Indian project? Also, it should fix the term of completion of the project and a penalty imposed for every month in the delay of the project with an ascending strata,” he said.
On the five per cent revenue sharing model, he asked, “Is the government agreeing to terms of five per cent gross turnover? This five per cent gives chances of gross manipulation keeping doors open to corruption.”
Congress demanded that a fixed rent be charged – which should begin within one year of the date the agreement is signed.
D’Mello said the government should levy a fixed fee to be paid instead of the five per cent of turnover which is highly open to corruption.
“Government’s stand that there is no investment and no tax-payers’ money involved is a blatant lie as the land acquired on the Panjim side by tourism department of 5,200 sq metres was acquired by tax-payers’ money and also the Nerul Communidade (community) from the other side is being acquired from the tax-payers’ money,” he alleged.