his was informed by special secretary home Diwan Chand to the assurances committee of the Goa legislative assembly during the committee’s recent meeting.
Chand said the government is presently studying similar laws prevalent in foreign countries and will cover all aspects to make the new legislation comprehensive, including the possibility of taxing the earnings of the casino owners. The proposed law will also define what an "offshore" casino is, Chand said.
Quepem MLA Chandrakant Kawlekar chaired the meeting that had MLAs Francis D’Souza and Nilkanth Halarnkar in attendance.
D’Souza urged the government to consider other aspects such as the appointment of an appropriate authority to calibrate the gaming machines and details of profit sharing, saying presently "no one knows who is getting looted in the casinos". Chand informed that the bill would probably be placed before the house during the July 2009 session.
During discussions on assurances regarding the proposed four laning and six laning of National Highway 17, D’Souza urged the government to try and freeze the area around the highway to protect it from people who might construct on the land.
Responding to queries on the proposed widening of NH17, the PWD principal chief engineer A M Wachasundar said although an all-party meeting called by the state government had decided that the state government should four lane or six lane NH17 wherever possible, the central government had entrusted the job to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Wachasundar also said that the segment spanning Mapusa to Margao would have six lanes. D’Souza asked what the government was doing to ensure that no new constructions would come up in the road widening areas, to which Wachasundar said the government could do nothing until the alignment was finalized.
Regarding the overall project, Wachasundar said the centre has appointed Wilbur Smith as consultant for the project and that the detailed project reports were in the final stages of preparation. He said all bridges from Patradevi to Pollem including the four major bridges of Talpona, Galgibaga, Zuari and Mandovi, would come under either the four laning or six laning project.
The matter of providing sewerage facilities to North Goa coastal villages of Morjim, Mandovi and Arambol was also discussed. Wachasundar said the government was trying to assess the willingness of the people to get connected to the sewerage system and to make the necessary payments that would make the system self sustaining. He said the local MLA had been asked to assess this, and that the government would also assess the prospect of making the system self sustaining.