Row over land development plan in Goa hotting up!

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There’s trouble in paradise. Goa’s Congress led ruling coalition is struggling to keep its flock together, as it battles growing statewide opposition to a plan to develop land in the state.

The Congress party’s own members are now questioning the reasons behind the development model and are asking if the plan has more then just Goa’s interests at heart.

The controversial new plan will open up about 7 crore square metres of forest and farmland for construction.

As protests grow over the plan, its seen cracks within the ruling party

The man behind the plan is Town and Country Minster Babush Monserrat, who has always fought charges of pandering to a construction lobby.

Now, his own party colleagues are hinting at corruption.

“Goa will never be Goa. It will be another metropolis and Goa will attract financial sharks. Real estate sharks and this is not what Goans should want. Somebody seems to be in a hurry to make pots of money,” said Jitendra Deshprabu, Congress spokesperson.

Sensitive coastal zones

But the state say that as Goa grows as a global and local hotspot, they have to open up spaces to develop.

But activists say that the new plan opens up land in the sensitive coastal zones and that its been released without any discussion.

“We are against the manner in which the whole plan was passed. Without consulting architects and planners which itself is very suspicious,” said Dr Oscar Rebello, Convenor, Goa Bachao Abhiyaan.

Everyone’s come together to fight the new plan from NGOs to ordinary Goans to even the local church, which wields a powerful influence.

“If this regional plan is implemented Goans will suffer. They will lose the best of their land and forests. The acquisition of land for new settlements is totally for non Goans. We are not against outsiders but outsiders will outnumber Goans and the culture and identity will suffer,” said Father Antonio Gomes, Parish Priest.

The activists have gone to court against the plan but while the court decides the public protests will carry on to protect India’s most popular beachfront paradise.

Credits: Frankey Fernandes NDTV

3 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. I agree with the comment regarding that this whole show is only really for investors trying to gain another page in their portfolio – effectively greed for the “hear and now”, lets make money and lots of it! who cares where it is? who’s land its on? who’s culture we are invading? Uniqness and identity is being lost and forgotten to flats, houses and, as is so common in the western world, greed. Save Goa!


    1. No To Developemt on September 29th, 2007 at 9:50 pm
  2. The real argument concerning non commercial development in Goa should be concentrating not whats happening on the surface, but whats going on below.
    The concentration of development in the coastal belt over the past 15 years has resulted in coliform bacteria appearing in the ground water.At low tide you can observe a black seepage oozing out of the sand.This is leakage from soak pits.
    The next cause of concern is malaria and cholera and typhus.There are no official figures available regarding the true status of these diseases in Goa.My estimates on Malaria are 700 deaths in the past year.I know 7 persons who contracted Typhus in the Baga area alone.How many deaths would occur if Cholera broke out ? We need another Ibsen to write a book on Goa titled,” An enemy of the developers in Goa.”

    2. alan smith on February 7th, 2007 at 1:59 pm
  3. Its good to see that people are coming out in protest – Goa in spite of a highly educated people has had a surprisingly unstable record of electoral history. THe people can get together and hold the politicians accou ntable

    3. Sita Naik on January 4th, 2007 at 9:11 pm

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