Friday, February 20, 2009

Goa Land acquisitions opposed by citizens.

Land acquisition in Goa is the latest to be added to the scanner of citizens within Goa who seem to have waged a war against the government against its unplanned sense of development.

Villagers of Nuvem joined farmers in protesting against the acquisition of fields for the development of a playground in the village. The Nuvem Civic and consumer forum led the protest to hold demonstrations at the village panchayat building demanding a stop to the land acquisitions immediately.

While the gram sabha of Nuvem had apparently opposed this land acquisition process, Nuvem Villagers demanded to know the reasons behind the acquisition despite the gram sabha resolution opposing the project.Labelling the whole exercise as a land grab, the villagers raised eyebrows over the plans to acquire fertile agricultural fields of nuvem measuring nearly 50,000 sq metres for a playground which the villagers believe, is something more than meets the eye. The entire acquisition threatens to displace around 25 farmers who have been cultivating the fields regularly every year raising two crops of paddy, onions, vegetables,chillies, sweet potatoes etc.

Villagers of Nuvem have questioned the wisdom of acquiring such large tracts of land in the name of a playground which the villagers opine is not required for the village as it is barely within 2.5 kms distance from the Fatorda stadium.

Meanwhile in another development, shareholders of the communidade of  Chinchinim held a meeting recently to fight the acquisition of 12,000 sq m of land in the village of Chinchinim by the government of Goa to construct a bypass road in the village.

Out of the total area of 12,000 sq km of land, a large chunk of around 5000 sq km of land belongs to the Chinchinim Commundade. The said area under acquisition also includes the centuries old Communidade building of Chinchinim, which is a heritage structure.

Opposing the acquisition of land which would finally lead to the destruction of the roots of the Chinchinim Communidade, villagers termed the plan as ill-conceived and sought to know as to why the  eastern side which has wide space is not utilised for the road widening.

Lamenting at the attitude towards the last vestiges of the institution, the shareholders demanded that a suitable delegation comprising of all shareholders, heritage action groups and other aggrieved parties call on the local MLA to request him to help them in this matter.

Land acquisition in Goa has been a farce for far too long and now the citizens of Goa seem to have woken up to the realities facing Goans for a long time. The government needs to show its sincerity by addressing genuine issues and ensuring that Goans do not lose their land for paltry sums in the name of development. Also if such land is acquired for development purposes, the landlosers should have the right to sell the land to private parties instead of the government dealing with private real estate developers.

The final verdict on this will be interesting

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