Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mega-Projects.. A Mountain out of a Molehill or otherwise

This is new to Goa. Agitations are not our cup of tea. We are succegaad kinda people.We love our siestas, our feni and our xacutis. So what are these megaprojects doing on our plate?Goa megaprojects
It all actually started with the uncharacteristic revolt against the regional plan 2011. A draconian plan made by our politicians of all hues and colours, only with the design of making cartloads of money only at the expense of Goa and Goans. And it would have gone all the way through. But they misunderstood the silence of Goans as a slumber. In fact they took us all for granted. In our hearts we were always burning to have our say. They mistook us for being a toothless unorganised force.

And so formed the Goa Bachao Abhiyan. An organisation which pledged to take up the plight of Goa and help to scrap the regional plan. Meetings were held and people attended in large numbers. This sent alarm bells ringing for the politicians and they were scurring for cover. Against all odds they had to dump and scrap the regional plan and that was the first victory of an united Goa against the might of the corrupt politician.

Next has been the opposition to the SEZ's and the mega projects. In both the cases the government is at its wits end as to how to solve the vexed issues. SEZ's in principle have been scrapped and apparently the licences revoked. But there seems to be more here than meets the eyeSEZ owners have acquired land by fraud and the SEZ virodhi Manch is fighting tooth and nail to ensure that they do not gain a back door entry.
The mega projects are something which hits the common man the hardest. And all advocators of mega projects are crying foul. What does a mega project do to the village or the area? Does it enrich the area or does it destroy it? How are the residents affected? Whose duty is it to ensure that the environment does not get affected with these projects? While giving licences for such projects what are the guidelines framed to sustain the development? Are these guidelines in tune with Goa today or have they become redundant and need drastic changes? Why do people dread a mega project which will bring in hundreds of strangers in a land which is currently occupied by a few hundreds? All the answers in the next post.
Love you Goa!

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