Panaji (Goa) [India], Oct 20 (ANI): Congress Goa president Girish Chodankar on Sunday targeted the Pramod Sawant-led state government for allegedly manipulating the records and creating ambiguity in tender specifications pertaining to Goa International Travel Mart (GITM) 2019.
"The single point agenda of the Tourism Minister Manohar alias Babu Ajgaonkar of Mission 30 per cent Commission has resulted in gross violations of rules and regulations in the tourism department. The official documents of tourism department pertaining to GITM 2019 have exposed that the state-level promotion," he said while addressing a press conference in Panaji on Sunday.
"The marketing committee has completely bypassed the tourism department and the officers in connivance of the Event Management Agency have manipulated records on the directions of Ajgaonkar. The work order of Rs. 4.97 crores were issued to Alica Purple Advertising Private Limited to organise GITM 2019," he added.
The Congress leader also targeted the Goa Chief Minister for his alleged involvement in the scam and claimed that Sawant has "maintained conspicuous silence.""Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has maintained a conspicuous silence despite the fact that the section of the media had exposed these irregularities almost two months back. The apex body of the tourism stakeholders' Travel and Tourism Association of Goa had demanded that the said event should be postponed to 2020," the Congress leader further stated.
Chodankar also demanded that a thorough investigation into the alleged manipulation of the records should be conducted by the Tourism Department officials.
"We also demand that the Chief Minister should initiate an investigation on the basis of which a huge estimate of Rs. 4.78 crores were prepared by the department," he said.
GITM, which is scheduled to take place from October 23 to 25, aims to showcase Goa as a travel destination. GITM aims at stimulating travel, tourism, hospitality, leisure, and other related industries, both from within the country and outside.
The event strives to bring about a face-to-face interaction of the travel trade, hoteliers, and other stakeholders from Goa with leading travel agents from India and abroad. (ANI)