Friday, December 5, 2008

Goa’s daylight land robberies

One thing that the government of Goa never stops doing is brazenly acland in Goaquiring private land in the name of a developmental project be it roads, factories, playgrounds, market establishments, food parks, IT parks, tourism parks, and any park worthy enough in its name to grab public land. Land losers who part with such land most stubbornly are helpless in the face of government regulations and are at a complete loss as prime properties in most cases are lost. Add to that the agony of losing the land at a rate which is a pittance of the prevailing market rates, and one is left twiddling the thumb and outwitted in fighting the goan establishment and its cronies.

What happens after such land is acquired is quite interesting. It suddenly becomes the unsigned property of the minister, chairpersons, bureaucrats and all their henchmen who are now dealers of this government owned property to melt, mould and make different shapes and sizes of this property at will. All for a very hefty underhand profit.

As things unfold, the original projects are met with resistance from NGO’s( who actGoa propertyually have a noble cause) and locals of the area citing either pollution, migrants, ecology or infrastructural imbalance much to the glee of the above mentioned bandits. These people are now helped by the protests of NGO’s against development projects and therefore stall these projects or scrap them. This was actually the original plan and inciting people against the project is also another subtle ploy of these government land sharks.

So now what happens to the land that was acquired? Ideally it should have been returned to the original owners for a sum calculated with interest if you must. For those unwilling to accept the land back after a specified period due to spending of the money,or lack of funds, the same could be offered to other landlosers of the same neighbourhood area on an auction basis. However none of this happens.

The NGO’s need to know that after they oppose a project in an acquired land , that pGoa real estatearticular land is still the property of the government of Goa and can be utilized for a project much worse than the original one as long as the booty for the Minister in the chair is good. So the noble job of the NGO or any other social organization does not end with the opposition to the project. The government must be forced to revert the land back to its owners.

Acquired land is the root of many political evils in Goa and fall of government is very often related to such land changing ownership between Ministers as with portfolios. Tussles between the local MLA and the Minster over such land is openly known . They are so excited when they find such land in their possession that they simply don’t know which project to make money out of. And most often than not such land becomes havens of real estate construction activites which is a huge setback to Goa and its crumbling infrastructure.

Goa and goans are still silent on this open daylight robbery by shameless elected representatives at our cost. May they be cursed for every rupee that they gain out of the public land.

Xittuk Goencar

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