Advising MLAs not to come under pressure, Waste Management Minister, Michael Lobo said public representatives should remain firm over decisions on public utility projects. “Whenever a public protest is held at the behest of a handful of NGOs, MLAs get scared of losing public support. The MLAs come under pressure. If the MLA thinks from deep within that the project is good for larger public good, he should support the project,” Lobo said adding, “The MLAs should convince people that the project is for them and for their future.” The Waste Management Minister did not take names, but it was clear the recent opposition to the Bainguinim waste treatment plant by local MLA, Pandurang Madkaikar was playing on his mind. “I don’t have a Plan B over setting up of waste treatment plant in Bainguinim,” was his stoic reply when queried whether he had other plans in mind due to public opposition to the treatment plant. He said Goans should give up ‘not in my backyard’ attitude towards garbage plants and in fact support projects which are in public interest. “Goans should be large-hearted especially on public utility projects. I am not saying bring polluting industries here. But we have to allow what is required for the State. This is my appeal to people of Goa,” Lobo said.
Elucidating his point, he said Goa has missed the IT bus primarily because of preoccupation of some people in opposing everything. “We have driven away IT industries for some reason or the other. Cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune have taken a huge leap in the IT sector. Such environment friendly industries which will help our children to get jobs should be welcomed. MLAs should remain firm,” he opined. Similarly, he said, people opposed the highway project in the past but the same people will be first to use the highway. Stating that he has deep faith in the Patron Saint of Goa, Waste Management Minister, Michael Lobo said that he will pray to St Francis Xavier to give him strength to take forward the plan to put the waste treatment plant. “I will go to the feet of St Francis Xavier and tell him that I have come forward to clear your area. I will pray to him to give me strength to complete the project,” Lobo said. He also said government will not back out and complete whatever projects were needed for Goa despite opposition from NGOs. “I respect the NGOs for the good works they are doing. But they should not stop works which are in the interest of the people of Goa. Be part of the government to take it forward,” he said. Slamming the NGOs in general, Lobo said government does all the spade work to set up a project and at the last minute an NGO comes in the way holding a placard and instigating people. “You cannot just come and stop good projects. If NGOs stop good projects then they should take responsibility. They should answer in the courts,” he said. “I respect all the genuine NGOs. They are required for the state of Goa,” he added but refused to name them for antagonizing others.