'Parulekar has no knowledge about tourism'

Have never been taken into confidence on any tourism related discussions

Navin Jha / The Goan | DECEMBER 15, 2012, 12:41 PM IST

The Goan: What is your problem with Tourism Minister DilipParulekar ?

Michael Lobo:  I havenothing personal against him, but I am sorry to say that he does not understandmuch about tourism but still makes tall statements. Statements such as Indiancarnival, Sunburn being shifted to South Goa and removing of encroachments havebeen made without giving second thoughts about its implication.

TG: Tourism department is doing its job by removingencroachments, so why are you opposing it?

ML: Tourism department land was never encroached upon. Somelocals have been staying on the land in Baga for the last 130 years. This wasmuch before government could acquire it 37 years back. Those encroachments thattook place during the last 10 years should be removed. We should not targetthose who have been residing for more than 100 years. The statement of tourismminister is condemnable only for one reason, as he said he wants to evict thesepeople.

TG: You have been complaining that you are not being made aparty to major tourism related decisions. Your comment.

ML: Yes it is true that I was never taken into confidence onany tourism related discussions. I have put up proposals including providingbasic infrastructure and beautification for Calangute. But the question iswhether government is willing to provide the same. If these people (Parulekar)are talking about development than why no developmental activities are beingcarried out on other beaches.

TG: Do you think you have been deliberately sidelined forboth posts of Tourism Minister or GTDC chairman?

ML: I have 23 years of direct experience in tourismindustry. I started as a dish-washer from the age of 13 and now am a hotelierand businessman. I have enough knowledge of tourism but still do not crave forthe tourism portfolio or for chairmanship of GTDC. I want to help in expandingthe tourism industry in the State, but sadly that is not happening and peoplewho do not have any knowledge is handling the portfolio.

I am the only person who raises a voice against my own partywhen wrong decisions are taken. Thus many in BJP are against me and don’t likeme as I stand for truth.

TG: What is wrong if Dilip Parulekar handles tourismportfolio? Is he under qualified or are you jealous?

ML: 100 percent he is the wrong person handling the rightportfolio. Does he have any knowledge about tourism?

TG: The tourism minister has proposed a lot of new projectslike watch tower at Baga and helicopter rides. Don’t you find it revolutionary?

ML: Not at all. What we require is basic amenities at thebeaches and not these fancy plans which will never materialize. What is moresurprising is that when the state government is facing a financial crunch weare talking about cable car or watch towers.

TG: Have you conveyed your feelings to the Chief Minister,Manohar Parrikar

ML: I have informed the chief minister about the haphazarddecisions taken by the tourism minister which backfires on me. His statementsrefer to my area and people think that I am associated with his decisions,which is wrong. I would like to advise Paruleker on tourism issues. It is up tohim to take the advice or not.

TG: Will this rift between you and the tourism ministerhamper development in Calangute?

ML: As an MLA of Calangute I will certainly develop itwithout the help of tourism department. I will also put my proposals before thegovernment but if they refuse then I will develop it on my own, as I have gotenough resources to carry out development on my own.

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