Jobs And Pollution Inseparable In Goa Coal Sector, Says Manohar Parrikar

PANAJI: It is not possible to seek jobs and other means of livelihood and at the same time complain about pollution, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, while flaying coal pollution-related protests in South Goa’s Vasco port town, 35 km from Panaji.

Mr Parrikar said that Goan youth were unwilling to take up jobs involving hard labour such as working on trawlers, driving mining trucks and working as sewage management supervisors, and asked them to stop relying on government jobs.

“One has to fill one’s stomach and not have pollution at the same time. How is that possible? Pollution also includes car (emissions)… if someone builds a house, that also causes pollution. That also creates dust,” Mr Parrikar said during the meeting in Curchorem-Quepem, a hub for coal transportation.

“Let the people from Vasco handle coal pollution, if they can. Pollution will anyway happen in Vasco; it will not reach you. In fact, you suffer more from mining pollution. Curchorem was cleaner when mining had stopped,” the chief minister said.

“Focus more on toilets rather than coal (pollution),” the chief minister added.

The issue of coal pollution erupted in Goa after the Mormugao Port Trust, the state’s only major port, sought permission from the Union Environment Ministry for redevelopment and expansion of four berths at the port.

The project has seen objection from the opposition as well as activists, who have complained of large-scale pollution from the proposed increased handling of coal.

Goans cannot or do not want to do hard labour,” he said, urging local youth to be more enterprising.

He also said he was not in favour of recruiting teachers through political favours. “There are many posts, like teaching posts. Should these be given by favouring someone? I am asking this question to everyone. That will mean your children will suffer. A teacher has to be first of all driven by his or her heart to teach,” the chief minister said.