Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goa SEZ - Centre dragging feet?

The Chief Minister of Goa Mr Digambar Kamat was promised by the Union commerce Minister, of urgent action regarding the denotification of the three Special Economic Zones(SEZ) in Goa within 10 days. However although the period has lapsed nothing seems to be in sight of moving in that direction.

It may be recalled that Goa and Goans had vociferously opposed the SEZ's in a small state like Goa and after understanding the genuine grievances of the citizens, The Chief Minister promised last year that there would be no SEZ's in Goa and that he would work hard towards revocation of the draconian plans of foisting a dozen SEZ's on Goans.

However by the time the Chief Minister took the delayed decision, 3 SEZ's had already been given licences to set up SEZ's despite the protests and were engaged in the activity of construction at the three notified sites.

Scarcity of land and enraged feeling of locals at usurpal of prime land had led to the blossoming of an anti SEZ organisation christened as the "SEZ Virodhi Manch" which has been fighting tirelessly to impress upon everyone concerned about the ill effects and the social as well as the environmental fallout of the SEZ's on Goans.

Question really is are we heading towards rampant ill-planned industrialisation or are we going to focus on our milking cow which is tourism?.One hopes that Goans are not taken for a ride by the government with empty promises and hopefully we will see the back of the SEZ's sooner than later.

Xittuk Goencar

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