Goa is likely to ban open defecation in the near future, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar hinted today. “I believe that state like Goa which has best natural environment and touristic destination has ample scope to keep the land clean. We could be the first state where open defecation could be banned,” Parsekar told reporters today after offering floral tributes to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, on his birth anniversary, at Old Goa near in Panaji.
He said there are few points in Goa where toilets are yet to be set up and once it is done, open defecation would cease to exist in the state. The chief minister claimed that the BJP-led state government has proved that garbage issue can be handled positively. The recently commissioned garbage treatment plant at Saligao is a live example of how garbage can be treated into manure and also during the process, power can be generated, Parsekar said.
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“Generally people used to look down upon the issue of garbage. But now with the setting up of the treatment site, the perception has changed. The plant can become an educational centre. I have suggested that the students should be taken there and they should be educated on how the garbage is treated,” he said.
To a question, he said the recent successful bidding of Greenfield International Airport at Mopa (North Goa) has proved that the state has enormous tourism potential. “We have got the best bidder for Mopa airport project who has agreed for 37 per cent share of revenue. This reveals that we have got tremendous touristic potential in the state,” he said. The GMR Group had earlier won the contract for the Mopa airport, to be built under the BOT (Build Operate Transfer) model, located in Goa bordering Maharashtra. Referring to diversion of flights early today due to fog, Parsekar said there is a heavy rush to come to Goa.
“That is why even if there is slight delay in the flights, it becomes a serious issue. I think with the construction of Mopa airport this issue would be solved,” he said. Six flights, including the first chartered flight of the tourist season carrying 500 visitors from Russia, were diverted to Bengaluru and Mumbai today as thick fog enveloped the Goa International Airport at Dabolim.