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Onus on govt, not parents for curbing drug menace: Cong

Panaji: Strongly objecting the statement made by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that parents are responsible for involvement of school students’ in drug abuse, Girish Chodankar of the Congress termed it as an irresponsible statement when it is the responsibility of the government in power to curb drug peddling.

Chodankar, who recently resigned as the president of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, said that when drugs have reached schools and colleges and the government is blaming parents, it goes to prove that the government is protecting the drug peddlers and drug smuggling. He alleged that there is strong nexus between the government and the drug peddlers in the state.

Addressing media persons, Chodankar said that it is evident from the instances that took place in the recent past that police do not know what is going on under their nose and as such the Corporation of City of Panaji had to intervene and seize drugs allegedly hidden by peddlers in stockpile at Parade ground at Campal-Panaji.

Meanwhile, Chodankar alleged that the government is trying to give back door entry to a huge US-built vessel for casino gambling purpose for which it is pressurising the Captain of Ports.

Chodankar said that the 22-year-old US built vessel does not fit within the criteria laid down by the Goa government to allow it in the River Mandovi but the file is under consideration due to political pressure.

He said that the vessel in question exceeds the sizes laid down for a vessel to be allowed in River Mandovi for casino gambling purposes.

Chodankar further said that the vessel would be anchored just opposite Kala Academy where Arabian Sea water meets River Mandovi and voiced fear that water sports would suffer and it would also have adverse impact on the surrounding environment.

Chodankar also said that the Panaji MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate had promised to shift casinos from River Mandovi within 100 days after getting elected and just 40 days have remained to keep his word and he should see to it that no new vessel is allowed in River Mandovi for housing

casino.

“If he does not oppose, I would presume that this is the result of exchange of suitcase,’’ he said.

Chodankar further said that Bainguinim at Old Goa is not the place to experiment with solid waste management plant when such a plant at Saligao is not doing “well” adding one cannot play with the sentiments of the

people.

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