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Goa LoP Michael Lobo (File Photo/ANI)
Goa LoP Michael Lobo (File Photo/ANI)

Service agency Drishti Marine sends defamation notice to Goa LoP Michael Lobo

ANI | Updated: Jul 09, 2022 21:26 IST


Panaji (Goa) [India], July 9 (ANI): A lifeguard and beach management services agency on Saturday sent a defamation notice to the MLA and Leader of Opposition of Goa Michael Lobo for allegedly making false and derogatory statements about Drishti Marine.
"Some time ago GTDC undertook the restoration of Aguada Lower Fort (central Jail) located at Sinquerim. After inviting global tenders the state government finalised and shortlisted the client to maintain the upkeep of the Aguada Jail and the museum. Despite being a party to the aforementioned decision-making process in the capacity of MLA, Lobo did not raise any objections at the time however made various false and derogatory statements about Drishti thereby affecting the reputation of the agency," read the notice.
The notice demanded Lobo to clarify the position and issue a public apology to Drishti, failing which might constrain Drishti to issue civil as well as criminal proceedings for defamation.
The service agency Drishti Marine sent its notice to the MLA via its legal team SN Joshi and Associates.
"The agency has come upon various public statements made by Lobo wherein he attempted to interrupt, interfere and disrupt the beach safety and lifesaving services," the notice read.
It further stated that Lobo also instigated the lifeguards to strike work by making inflammatory statements and false assurances to give them government jobs, which led the lifeguards to go on a strike which paralysed the lifesaving services for a while.
The notice also stated that the LoP had claimed that the agency was exploiting lifeguards while in reality, the remuneration paid to the lifeguards and other employees was higher than what was stipulated in the contract.

"Lobo attempted to paralyse the beach cleaning work despite being a party in the decision-making process and also targeted the agency for being a successful tenderer in connection with the contract for management, operations and maintenance of Aguada Lower Fort also termed as Aguada Jail in Goa," the notice read.
Drishti's CEO Ravi Shankar said, "The constant disrupting of the morale of our workforce-- which is required to be highly motivated at all times-- has impacted us adversely not to forget the loss of jobs of over 300 employees in the last 10 years. This has jeopardised public safety mechanisms in the past instances and undone the yeoman service by our boys."
"Moreover, it has caused an undue financial burden to the state by delaying efficient Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model projects which can be beneficial to the state," he added.
Emphasising that the agency Drishti has set a benchmark (in terms of lifesaving, waste management at the coast, and the adaptive reuse of heritage monuments to create a work-class tourist destination in collaboration with Goa Tourism Development Corporation) as it has always worked for saving the state's money.
The agency Drishti Marine started its operations in 2008 after the state government was prompted to take immediate measures following the 200 drowning cases in Goa that took place in 2007.
The notice also highlighted that the agency was called upon to clean the beaches in December 2016, despite the said contract being given to a vendor in the same year.
"Thereafter Drishti carried out beach cleaning services at an ad-hoc basis, at a lower fee than leading to the government making a saving of Rs 43,279.38 per day," the notice read further. (ANI)

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