Tuesday 03 Aug 2021

Many tasks before the new Goa Governor

People of the State are looking at Pillai to save the State from degradation

STEPHEN DIAS | JULY 17, 2021, 10:54 PM IST

P S Sreedharan Pillai was sworn in as the new governor of Goa on July 15, 2021. Being a resident of Dona Paula and close to Raj Bhavan I have many governors come and go. 

Goa has been without a full-fledged Governor since August 2020 when Satyapal Malik was abruptly transferred from the State. Malik was popular with the Goan community. He even attended a service in the Raj Bhavan chapel. His sudden transfer was felt very badly by the Goan community, but still orders are to be followed and duties need to be fulfilled. There is a lot he wanted to do.    

We hope our new Governor can clean up the mess both metaphorically and literally. The newspapers say he is more committed and will do justice to his job. Goans are looking forward and have great expectations from him.

He has vowed to keep the state harmonious and continue to encourage unity among all communities. At the same time he expects all cooperation from the people during his stay in Raj Bhavan.

On the mining issue, the new Governor said that as briefed to him the Supreme Court is currently hearing the Goa mining resumption matter and the final arguments are going on. 

He has decided to focus on tourism first and transform Goa into a more attractive tourism destination and into one of the best states in this country using his expertise developed during his time in Mizoram and Kerala which are both important tourist states.  

Many Governors promise many things for the development of the state when they take charge, but politicians in Goa often change their minds and transform them into rubber stamps, carrying forward the will of the government. It remains to be seen whether Governor Pillai is a rubber stamp or can make his presence be felt. 

Sreedharan Pillai has many responsibilities to fulfil such as resolving the Mhadei river diversion issue concerning Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, iron ore mining activities, casino menace, sewage treatment, underground electricity cabling, continuous water supply for domestic housing, improving roads to international level, making Goa a pollution-free state and finding a solution to the waterlogging and drainage problem in various locations starting with the capital city Panaji. Will he be able to focus on all these areas mentioned above or will they continue to remain only on paper? 

I understand that Pillai has been a prolific caretaker since 1983 and has published a number of books, both in English and Malayalam. This has given me hope that since he is a writer and scholar, perhaps he will judicially take interest in preserving what is still remaining in the Raj Bhavan and create an inventory of the articles, artifacts and even the furniture within. Much of the pre-Liberation articles and furniture it contained has already been lost over the years. If he does this, he will be well on the way to establishing his legacy. 

All the best Governor as you stay in our tiny Goa. We welcome you Your Excellency! 

(The writer is a social activist)

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