Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has been caught on the wrong foot when he inadvertently inaugurated the so-called illegal floating luxury lounge and bar ‘Watermark’, which was moored in the Mandovi on May 7. The vessel is jointly owned by Trivesh Azgaonkar, son of Tourism Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar. After complaint had been filed by social activist Kashinath Shetye with GCZMA about its illegalities, the vessel has mysteriously been spirited away. While seeking clarifications from Azgaonkar as to why he was asked to inaugurate an illegal vessel, the Chief Minister has many questions to answer himself.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has been shamed by his own Dy Chief Minister Manohar Azgaonkar, bringing into question his slogan ‘Na khaoonga, na khane doonga’, with his inauguration of the illegal floating luxury lounge and bar ‘Watermark’ that was anchored in the Mandovi has been a controversial issue since day one. He inaugurated the vessel on May 7, in the presence of other members of the State Legislative Assembly.
Caught on the wrong foot, according to GoaNewHub, the Chief Minister has now sought clarifications from Azgonkar as to why he was invited to inaugurate a floating restaurant that was illegal.
According to The Navhind Times, ‘Watermark’ is a joint venture of T-Mark Hospitality run by Shikhar Kumar, Rhea Kumar along with Trivesh Azgaonkar. Trivesh Azgaonkar is the son of Tourism Minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar.
Moored in the Mandovi River, it disappeared before it could be inspected and action taken by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority for an outright CRZ violation.
According to Prudent Media, the now vessel was found moored in Amona, the Chief Minister’s constituency, but the jetty built at Panjim for the ‘Watermark’ continues to remain there.
According to the Navhind Times, this follows on the heels of a formal complaint filed by social activists including Kashinath Shetye with GCZMA alleging that ’Watermark’ operators have illegally set up a floating pontoon along the banks of the river without obtaining the CRZ clearance. In a video expose, he pointed to violations of illegal electricity connections and construction of a jetty.
However, when GCZMA expert members, Dr. Prabhakar Shirodkar and engineer Audhoot Bhonsule went to inspect the vessel, it was learned that it was whisked away in the night. The team members clarified that ‘Watermark’ did not have any permissions, either for setting up the floating pontoon or starting commercial activities.
According to Prudent Media, GPCC President, Girish Chodankar has also raised questions as to why the Chief Minister inaugurated the said vessel. “Did he not know it was illegal,” he queried.