Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that “there is a microscopic minority in Goa which is anti-development and proving to be an obstacle for various projects.” Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping was addressing the annual general meeting of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Panaji on Saturday evening.
“The union government has enough money to carry out development work. However, there is a microscopic minority, which is anti-development and is proving to be an obstacle in the development of the state,” the minister said. He was referring to projects like port which were planned in Goa but had to be shifted out of the state due to resistance from certain quarters.
“We are serious about development of Goa. We have budget of crores of rupees for roads and ports infrastructure. We are interested in expanding the ports but people are not interested, so I decided to go to Karnataka and Maharashtra,” he said.
He went on to add “If you (Goa) want, we will develop them. If you are not okay, we will not hesitate to go to other states.” Gadkari said his ministry has sanctioned Rs 600 crore for four-laning of road from the National Highway 17 to the Mopa airport, which is taking shape in north Goa.
“I asked my official whether it is possible to use a river like Zuari or any other river to develop waterways up to the (Mopa) airport and he informed me that we are working on it and it is possible,” the minister said.
On opposition to nationalisation of rivers project, Gadkari said “We have sanctioned Rs 40 crore to carry out dredging in Zuari and Mandovi rivers, but some people are having apprehensions that we are going to take the rivers to Delhi.”