Panaji: Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal on Saturday called for a mass movement against Non-Governmental Organisations who protest against developmental projects, dubbing them ‘the worst form of obstruction of justice’ for the country’s poor. The Minister was speaking at ‘Vibrant Goa’, an investment summit held near Panaji.
Goyal, who also holds the Trade and Commerce Ministry, said that he was willing to go on a public platform with folded hands to plead to the NGOs against impeding development projects, while commenting on the delay in the construction of an upcoming greenfield airport at Mopa plateau, in North Goa, due to litigation.
The construction of the Mopa greenfield airport, which is being undertaken by the GMR Group in association with the Goa government, was essential for promotion of the coastal state as a world-class destination for tourism.
“Frankly, I heard that the airport is under some litigation and it’s gone to the court. I don’t mind on the public platform to fold my hands and appeal to those NGOs and those few people who are coming in the path of development, who is not helping Goa grow, who are not helping the cause of the people of Goa by this form of litigation,” Goyal said.
“It is the worst form of obstructing justice for the poor of India, for providing a better quality of life for the poor people,” he added.
“And I think it’s high time that there’s a mass movement of the people of India and the people of Goa who oppose these forces, who are not allowing development to happen in Goa who are not allowing good roads, who are not allowing good hotels, who are not allowing good airports, who are not allowing the expansion of the port,” Goyal said.
The Union Minister also urged people of Goa to promote music festivals on the lines of the iconic Woodstock festival to attract more tourists to the coastal state.
“Make the Goa festivals, something like Woodstock used to be music festivals,” Goyal said.
“We are right on the cusp of the tourist season, the flight was completely full, so I can see the rush of tourists coming here and I’m sure this year is going to be a phenomenally good year for tourists,” Goyal said.
Goa is one of the leading tourism destinations in the country and attracted nearly eight million tourists last year.