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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Goa: Investigate NGO’s stalling ‘public welfare’ projects, says Panaji MLA

"How can the government function in its limited tenure, if each of its developmental projects are met with petition and litigation citing petty reasons," said the MLA.

Written by Harsha Raj Gatty | Published: July 27, 2016 8:07:23 pm

Taking strong exception to repeated instances of few NGO’s stalling ‘public projects’ by approaching courts, Panaji MLA Siddharth Kunkolienkar demanded that such organisations must be investigated and have accountability fixed. He added in the wake of judgment against non-meritorious PIL’s, few of them have taken up to castigating the judiciary for its judgment on social media.

“Recently the courts seeing-through the political intentions behind the PIL’s have been gracious enough to dismiss them. How can the government function in its limited tenure, if each of its developmental projects are met with petition and litigation citing petty reasons,” he demanded on the floor of the house.

“Mandovi bridge, Saligao waste-management plant, vermin eradication…,” the legislator continued to name the government programs and projects that were objected by the NGO’s at various legal forums. “Anyone, either individual, married couple, vested interest or a contractor failing to bag public project, call themselves NGO and file petition against a project. Ultimately, lacking merit – the courts have dismissed almost all the petition. But in the process we have lost an average of over nine months, who will compensate to the public for the loss of facility or for the continued degradement of the environment. Moreover, no cost is imposed on frivolous petitioners,” he said.

While maintaining that such PIL applicants have never visited the projects nor studied its report he added that projects such as waste management, transport management must be allowed in public interest.

Adding that the very term ‘Non-Governmental Organization’ instead of ‘Volunteers’ gave a negative connotation, he said that despite ‘over-active’ness of the locals only constructively critical groups must be encouraged. “They are crossing thin line of logic and moving over to madness. “Under the garb of NGO one of the applicant while did not object to 55 thousand tonnes of garbage lying around his area, immediately filed a petition after government invested at Saligaon waste treatment plant,” he said.

He added that the legislator must ponder on why there is this trend of negativity and an attempt to derail public welfare projects. “People are getting affected by it (NGO) and it is important that we (legislators) fix accountability on those before people start revolting against them (NGO’s),” he said. Moreover he added some NGO’s are also undermining the judiciary for unfavorable judgement. “They are using social media to speak ill about the judges and undermine the order, the judiciary is being castigated. Some mechanism must be brought about to change this trend,” he said.

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