Chief Minister Pramod Sawant took the platform of the commemoration of 350th Coronation Day of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Betul Fort on Tuesday to send a message to the people that his government is trying to wipe out the traces of Portuguese after 60 years of Goa’s Liberation and start afresh.
He also pointed out that Minister for Archeology Subhash Faldesai and officials from the department of Archeology have started the process to reconstruct temples, forts in Goa. “This is sort of rebuilding the culture and all our officers and the Minister are working efficiently towards restoring what we have lost. It is after 60 years that we are trying to wipe out the traces of Portuguese and start afresh. This is the need of the hour”, he said, while speaking at the programme organised by department of Archeology.
He added: “Today as we are celebrating Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav... The country is celebrating 75 years of independence and Goa already celebrated 60 years of Liberation. We are heading towards 2047, towards a developed India. It would be 100 years then for India to be independent and at that time, how Goa should be and where it should be would be, we have started thinking of that day from today and are working towards it. The Govt is committed to carry on various activities to take this mission forward”.
Saying the government is committed to develop the Betul Fort in honour of the great Maratha warrior, Sawant said the government is in talks with the Customs, exuding confidence that the land presently housing the Betul Fort, will soon come in possession of the Goa government.
“Once the Goa government gets possession of the land from the Customs admeasuring 2500 square meters, the government will declare the Betul fort as a notified monument. The actual Betul Fort will be built at the site”, the CM said.
Saying that Shivaji was instrumental in building the Saptakoteshwar Temple, he said the Maratha warrior stopped the religious persecution and the destruction of Hindu temples in the State during the colonial rule.
Archeology Minister Subhash Faldesai said the department has entered into discussions with Customs officials for the smooth transfer of the land playing host to the Betul Fort to the Goa government. “The Customs have maintained they have drawn up plans to construct a building on the land in question. But, we have made it clear that the Betul Fort has a history and the government is committed to protect the history”, Faldesai said, adding that the Goa government will take up the issue with the Union government for the smooth transfer of the land to develop the Betul Fort into a monument and a memorial.
Art and Culture Minister Govind Gawde, Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa, former Dy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar also spoke at the programme.
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