No casino licence without EIA: Chauvan

pti, panaji | 16 February 2010 16:47 IST

Union minister for environment and technology Prithviraj Chauhan said that the environment impact assessment (EIA) should be conducted before granting licences to off shore casinos.

''EIA should have been conducted before granting licences to offshore casinos, as they are anchored in the water,'' Chauhan said replying to a question on Monday.

He was down in the state to visit two vital research laboratories -- National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research and National Institute of Oceanography.

The minister, however, feigned innocence on whether such clearance was mandatory or not for the ships mounted with casinos and anchored in the waters of Goa.

''The ships should not create pollution and I feel that they have enough mechanism in place to control it,'' Chauhan commented.

Goa has six offshore casino vessels, which had hit controversy in the past after state pollution control board served them notices over improper disposal of sewerage.

The casinos were alleged to be leaving the sewerage in Mandovi river water. But the claim was refuted by casino firms.

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Everybody in this country knows that to get license from any authority, what are the things one has to do. In other words, “Kitne Papad Belne padte Hai”.

The Clearance for environment impact assessment (EIA) from Ministry of environment will open another flood gate for corruption. There will not be any adverse impact on Casinos. They will stay in the river Mandovi and the real problem which is faced by river navigation will stay on.

Secondly, these casinos are so called offshore casinos. People of Goa and India know that “shore” mean all the casinos should go in deep sea. But unfortunately or by somebody’s grace, they are there in the river. If Mr. Prithviraj Chauhan wants to solve the issue, he should take some step to send all these casinos to the sea. The EIA clearance is just another way to harass the casino owners and call for corruption. Neither the Govt. will get any additional revenue nor it will have some regulations for casinos.

- Purushottam Sandye, Ponda- Goa | 17 th February 2010 09:09

 

Environment Impact Assessment should not become one more additional step to bribe and obtain a licence to operate something immoral like gambling! Every common man feels that if the EIA was implemented with all the sincerity and honesty, no mining activity would be permitted to destroy this beautiful State!

- Vishwas Prabhudesai, Loliem | 17 th February 2010 08:19

 

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