We have learnt in schools that India is the world largest democracy and Goa being an integral part of it, by default becomes a part of that democracy. To a lay person the definition of democracy means “peoples rule for the people” and it is up to the people to decide their future. Democracy by law and definition gives us that right but sadly the rights of the people are hijacked and the rule of the jungle which is “might is right”, is forced on the people by our rich and the affluent helped by our political and security institutions for personal gains.
The history of this sordid saga and the nightmare called the Food Park, started with SEZ, when lakhs of square meters of land was acquired on the pretence of development to further their own agendas, but the total people’s opposition to SEZ delivered a telling blow to the personal agendas of our political and bureaucratic babus, so thus the reincarnation to IDZ, Industrial Development Zone. Purely a change of name but the game still remains the same.
With the plight of the villagers of Naqueri, Quitol, Betul and Canaguinim, where water is a scarcity, electricity pathetic and not enough land for the ever expanding families, moreover with agricultural land being acquired farmers forced out of farming, the people had no alternative but to revolt and for a brief period everyone thought, the local MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar would see the truth but now it looks like he has misplaced priorities.
Our Politicians are known to play their political cards well, some years ago the former Canacona MLA and Minister from Agonda Sanjay Bandekar had built a cross near his house to woe Catholics but Kavlekar has gone further and has built a new Temple with road access at the disputed site. Hope the people realize that God does not live in structures but in the hearts of the people and the welfare of the people should be their prime concern.
A total of 13 lakh sqmeters of land was acquired for the Food Park and the Auxiliary services where as 10.24 lakh sq mtrs land was acquired for ONGC. Now, how can the government just go on acquiring so much land in one revenue village, when land for the expanding families is scarce ?
Basically the people of that area depend on farming and fishing for their survival, with the acquisition of fields, farming has been affected and to make matters worse, the fishing activities in the area will be hit as a result of Marinas at Canaguinim. When people had objected the land acquisition for ONGC, they were promised prime jobs but over twenty years I haven’t seen any Goan, leave alone a local at ONGC. Despite numerous representations by the locals, no white collar jobs were given for the locals. With both the main occupations, farming and fishing being hit, what are the locals suppose to do?
It’s a real pity that the elected members of the Panchayat have been bought by Kavlekar to further his own agendas but the people are very much active and oppose the project in any and every “avtar”, SEZ or IDZ or Food Park. The people of Nuem fully support the cause of the Canaguinim, Naqueri, Quitol and Betul people. May the wishes and the will of the people prevail and democracy survive this murderous attempt by their very own elected representative. Long live democracy.


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