Thursday, October 23, 2008

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

A mega project has not been defined as yet. Why? The reasons are best known to the government. BuGoa protests megaprojectst the reluctance to define it seems to be a cause of big worry to the builder lobby. This lobby is losing by the day. In crores. And the government is not blind. They would like to solve the problem of definition. But I sense that the delay is because these politicians are at their wits end as to how to define and whom to accommodate in mega and whom to leave out. Which parameters to apply and which ones to leave out.

More than one building currently is being viewed as a mega project by the residents of an area. And so residents of Carmona, orlim, Nuvem, Dovandem, pilerne and most prominently Benaulim among others are up in arms against projects which have been planned with hundreds of apartments threatening an injection of thousands of people in an area currently occupied by probably a few hundreds.

So what do these thousands do to the few hundreds? Firstly they bring about an imbalance in one’s own homeland. You are suddenly a minority in your own land and very soon the risk of your say having no meaning is looming large. The risk of the local bodies such as the panchayats and the municipalities being usurped in power by the new residents is probable. And so your identity and your culture disappearing is a harsh reality. Moreover these flats and bungalows planned by the builders are so exorbitant that the local population of Goa would easily find it unaffordable and so the migration of people from all over India and the world is certain.
It is bound to destroy the locality and its identity. It is going to resemble an Andheri , Goregaon or Borivli. Pitifully!

Enrichment wise it will be the opposite. Goa has a more cleaner outlook and rubbish and garbage is normally not strewn openly in all areas. We are born with that culture. You compare that with any other.. I repeat any other state of India and it is a complete contrast. Such contrast is bound to spill over to goan surroundings with such large settlements of migrants.But the protest is not because of this.

However what is most important is that before issuing a licence the licensing authorities turn a blind eye to so many irregularities in the plans and pass the plans in exchange for bribes throwing caution and rules to the winds.Hence the protest.

The government in the meanwhile has failed to address the issue of new settlements vis a vis new infrastructure for the new settlements. It has no regard to the deprivation and the degradation of the surrounding environment. When you bring in extra people there is a burden on the resources such as water, electricity, garbage disposal systems, social balance etc. Without paying heed to any of these considerations there is a rampant grant of licences for construction which was going unabated. Hence the protest!

The government is following old guidelines and old methods but is cunningly allowing new constructions. How? Who is going to ask the government? All the time the people were taken for a ride because the people are not organized. Every person has his or her own work to do and nobody can really spare time to take note of these issues. The government was taking advantage of this fact. Untill a time when people have risen. And the fight has begun. The threat of a revolt for any mega project is lurking in the minds of the builder lobby. The government has to act fast and bring about proper sane means to solve this issue. Mere words will no longer do. The people have shown their might. Thank you Goa and thank you Goans. Succegaaad……? Now what’s that?

Love You Goa!

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