BJP govt move to hand over rivers of Goa to the Centre is preposterous

August 12, 2016

floriano-loboFLORIANO LOBO  |  The Goa Su-Raj Party – GSRP is vehemently against the nationalization of Goa’s treasures which are its inland rivers and waterways. The perennial decisions taken by erstwhile governments of Goa earlier and the current BJP Government, now, to hand over Goa’s limited precious land to the national agencies is being opposed tooth and nail.

Examples: DefExpo in Betul, the Indian Navy’s expansion at Dabolim and in the off-shore islands of Goa for use other than for the national security, the proliferation of Army camps in Goa when Goa does not have volatile borders, the unstinted expansionist moves by the MPT, now wanting to encroach on ecological sensitive Betul, the Army Signal Headquarters and the Military hospital in the heart of the city of Panjim and many others.

But the decision of the current BJP Government, which is a step closer to be thrown out as incompatible with governing Goa, to hand over Goa’s inland rivers and waterways to the control of the Centre is preposterous, to say the least.

It is enough that Goa has been re-colonized by India in the guise of removing the Portuguese from Goa, where the pre-1961 promises given to Goa by India are still blowing in the winds like a wind-sock and which promises were pertaining to the preservation of Goa’s unique identity aka Special Status under Art. 371 of the Indian Constitution.

The reason that this is happening is because Goans are considered weak in their back-bones who cannot stand firm like the Nagas in the North East and the people of Andra Pradesh. The nationalization of Goa’s inland rivers and waterways could be the last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Goans, please take note. Should this happen, it will be taken that the Centre is on the expansionist move into Goa in the guise of developing Goa and this shall not be tolerated for whatever that is worth.

Goans are asking the pertinent question: DEVELOPMENT FOR WHOM? If the Centre cares for Goa and Goans, it must leave our rivers and inland waterways alone for Goans to decide what to do with them and how to develop them for the exclusive benefit of Goa and Goans.

GSRP wants to go on record to say that if this move goes through without taking the sentiments of ‘neutral Goans’ into consideration [as politicians will sway, as always, if the price offered is right], this move shall be revoked in time to come to free not only Goa’s inland rivers and waterways alone, but also to free whatever that is sensitive to Goa and Goans from the over-zealous domination by the colonizing Centre, which, by the way, is fully aware that these moves would be incompatible if Goa was granted the aforesaid Special Status, with its expansionist moves stopping dead in its tracks.

It is prayed that better sense prevails.

Here is a 2011 piece of information from the Defence Ministry dated 14 December:

14-December-2011 16:09 IST
Land Occupied by Armed Forces in Goa

The total area held by the Indian Navy and Army in Goa is 2442.3396 acres and 930.643 acres respectively,

The subject area is utilized by Indian Navy for Naval Air Station Dabolim and supporting administrative, functional, training, maintenance and operational infrastructure of the station and by Army for HQ 2 Signal Training Centre, 3 Technical Training Regiment, 5 Technical Training Regiment, 3 Military Training Regiment, Station HQ, Panaji, Military Hospital Panaji, Station Workshop Bambolim and Coy ASC (Supply) Mudgaon.

The Indian Navy has sought additional land measuring 227.77 acres from Government of Goa at Bimvel Beach area (26.77 acres), Grandi Island (133.00 acres) and Pikene Island (68.00 acres).

This information was given by Defence Minister AK Antony in a written reply to Shantaram Naik in Rajya Sabha today.
Total Acres: 3614 which includes 2.42 Acres at Betul for DefExpo.
Total Square Kilometers: 14.62
Percentage of land mass used by military in Goa: 0.3949 where land mass of Goa is 3702 sq. Kilometers.
Mining Belt: 1000 sq Km
CRZ : 500 “
Roads : 500 “
Hilly terrain )
Paddy Fields )
Khazan Lands:) 300 “
Total: 2300 sq km.
3702 – 2300 = 1402 sq km.
Armed forces use: 1.042796 % of Goa’s usable land mass.

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