BJP, ally MGP clash as waste piles up on Goa beaches
Piling of waste on Goa beaches has set the ruling BJP and its ally MGP against each other, with state deputy speaker Michael Lobo of the BJP Monday demanding
that Tourism department hand over its mandate to issue tenders for appointing a cleaning agency to a state-run body.
Waste lies strewn on the beaches since November 16 when a private agency, Drishti, entrusted with the task of garbage collection stopping the work due to expiry of the
State Tourism department is yet to appoint a new contractor for the purpose.
Lobo, who represents Calangute seat, has expressed apprehension that the unattended waste may impact peak tourist season which is setting in.
He has demanded the mandate to invite a tender for garbage collection be given to state-run Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) since Tourism department is "ill-equipped to handle such issues".
"There is an urgent need to appoint an agency to resume collection of garbage," he said.
Lobo said only a single bidder responded to a tender issued for the work a few days back, forcing Tourism department to extend the deadline by another 15 days.
"Tourism department is not a competent body to handle such a technical work. The GWMC has 22 professional engineers who know the issue threadbare," he said.
When contacted, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar,
who belongs to the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), said his department won't "bow down to pressures and threats".
"Beach cleaning tender was floated by Tourism department after conducting a proper study. The department will strictly follow guidelines and procedures in this regard
and maintain a total transparency," said Ajgaonkar.
Goa, which is known as the beach capital of India, has 105-km long coastline.
Around 60 lakh tourists visit the coastal state every year. The tourist footfall peaks during November, December and January every year.
(With inputs from agencies.)