Amidst a flurry of visits by ministers including the chief minister and MLAs to the Basilica at Old Goa, Aam Aadmi Party has termed the Government’s show of sudden concern as stage acting. AAP also accused the government of severely compromising the integrity of the world-famous heritage site to favor private individuals for obvious reasons. Accusing the government of serious neglect of the precincts of the world heritage monuments, AAP convenor Elvis Gomes said that neither the then Congress under Digambar Kamat or succeeding BJP governments under three different chief ministers had shown any seriousness in protecting the heritage site even under serious threats of a downgrade of the status of the site by UNESCO. He said that if the government was concerned, it would not have waited for the Rector of the Basilica to sound an alarm bell.
“ Not only the Basilica, but the whole heritage zone is crying for immediate attention. The government cannot even do simple routine work of tackling the garbage in the area. It has allowed the devastation of the outer zone with the mass construction of buildings and complexes. The sudden visits by ‘VIPs’ these days are like acting out a short one-act play” said Gomes. He further reminded that the ‘Save Old Goa Committee,’ an umbrella organization fighting to protect Old Goa from the onslaught of unscrupulous elements, has been time and again agitating against all illegalities including ‘legal illegalities’ like diversion of the bypass. He called upon the government to translate their assurances into action and protect the entire Heritage Zone.