Give migrants work permits and temporary housing, after that, let them rent or buy – no free housing or land

September 14, 2016

kenelm1KENELM SANTANA LOPES  | The thing about migration is that everybody wants to migrate but no one wants to be labelled a migrant or in Goan terms a ‘ghanti’.  To be fair to history, most Goans are in fact migrants except perhaps the kunbis and a few others.

There was wave upon wave of migrations, be it the Gaud Saraswats, the Kannadigas, people from other parts of India, some Portuguese and, I believe, some of African genetic origin.

And to be even fairer to history, each new entrant is resented by the earlier ones already resident here. Today we look at migrant labour from other parts of India with great hate and annoyance. But is our bigotry the only reason why we need them?

Interestingly there are very valid reasons for our resentment too. Goa being a small state with limited land resources, is groaning under the strain of unregulated development.

Migrants come and squat all over public, comunidade or private land. In a short while in connivance with corrupt politicians who see them as an easy vote bank, they manage to establish ownership on this land for free, thanks to periodic legislation for ‘regulariSation of illegalities’.

On the other hand, the people originally resident here are unable to purchase land themselves, considering the high prices. We need the migrants but we don’t want them taking over our lands. How do you fix this? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Be firm and swift in evicting people setting up house on land that they do not own.
  2. Labour that is hired should be registered and issued work cards just like any other employment. No labour without registration.
  3. Registration needs to have an address. This can be a rental address with the landlord recorded. Similarly a builder bringing in labour can provide temporary housing for them. This way if a person is unable to find work, he will be forced to return to wherever he came from.
  4. The migrants will greatly benefit too since they will enjoy better housing, healthcare and other facilities.

Just my thoughts as an alternative to a free for all situation!

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