Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Panchayat Raj Bill to take Goans for a ride

Grandiose plans seem to be being drawn behind backdoors for the destruction of Goa. A certain "Goa Panchayat Raj ( Amendment) bill 2009 " is apparently awaiting to raise its ugly head in a bid to quell the recent uprisings in Goa against haphazard development in the state.

The bill is expected to be quietly but forcefully pushed forward to be enacted as a law which is feared to be against the interests of the village panchayat self governing bodies.

In recent times, Goa has witnessed a spate of protests especially in gram sabha meetings opposing megaprojects and such other construction activities which threaten to burden the existing infrastructure besides being a cause of a social imbalance in Goan villages.

The bill is allegedly targeted at the oppositions to the megaprojects and is an attempt to withdraw the legal rights of the local self-governing bodies to enable a free hand in awarding construction licenses to all projects that have obtained clearances from the bureaucracy.

Our leaders in the assembly have often acted in protecting their own interests and Goans will have to be watchful if these same MLA's expose their affection for vested interests thereby supporting such a ridiculous bill which will serve to only destroy Goa. The bill is said to grant the government and the upper bureaucracy with enormous powers to over-rule local self-government bodies and will therefore make a mockery of the local panchayats who need to make their own decision regarding their own village.

Goans therefore need to gear up for another fight with the government which seems to be willfully blinding itself to Goa's real problems and thereby thrusting the ordinary "aam Aadmi" into inconveniences. Its time paint a new banner of revolt.

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