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May 11, 2012

Citizen's To Have Say In Goa's Roadmap Soon

11 May 2012
Panaji: The draft report of the 'Goa 2035' vision document was approved on Thursday by members of the Golden Jubilee Development Council in the presence of chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

The council is headed by noted scientist Raghunath Mashelkar. The report, to be released in June, will be placed in public domain for two months for suggestions.

Speaking to TOI, Mashelkar said, "The draft has been approved unanimously finally and the function (to commemorate its) release will take place in June."

He added that Parrikar, who was "strongly supportive" of the draft report, advised that it should be placed "in a public domain" for two months for suggestions.

"Only after this will the final report be accepted," said Mashelkar.

The scientist added, "This (final) comprehensive report will lay down the path for making the 'Goa 2035' vision document a reality."

Sources said the thrust of the draft report is to improve conditions in Goa in such as way so that people living here feel it's one of the best places to be in.

Sources in the state secretariat said the report focuses on various sectors and includes measures to increase the usage of Konkani, it being Goa's identity.

It will also touch upon increasing employment opportunities to educated unemployed youth in the state.

For this, information technology could be one of the main industries suggested as it would help reverse Goa's brain drain issue.

Post Thursday's meeting, the draft report is expected to be fine-tuned and ready in a month's time. It will then be made available to the public in Konkani, Marathi and English, sources said.

Over a year ago, the state government had constituted a 14-member high power council, comprising eminent personalities, to set the roadmap for the state.

Last year on December 19, Goa's liberation day, the council submitted a preliminary report of 26 pages with seven dimensions to then chief minister Digambar Kamat with various recommendations.

It had recommended that future mining in Goa should consider social and environmental carrying capacities and the government should look at alternative business opportunities like eco-tourism while rehabilitating exhausted mines.

It had also advised the government to move away from beach tourism and create diversified tourism comprising adventure, mangrove-based eco-tourism, agriculture tourism, homestead tourism, health tourism etc.

Thursday's meeting was also attended by Ashank Dessai, Madhav Gadgil, Charles Correa, Satish Shetye, Dilip Deobagkar, Ligia Noronha, Errol D'Souza, Manguirish Pai Raikar and the finance secretary. Parrikar has asked the council to suggest how the suggestions in the report can be implemented.