The cheek of our legislators takes the breath away. It is always the same. You do something morally wrong, then you try to distract the citizens by focusing on inessentials. What exactly has happened in Goa? Frankly, we blame the Congress for this, because if they had not been so openly corrupt and arrogant about it, Manohar Parrikar would never have become Goa’s Great White Hope.
He made so many promises so often he looked like he believed in them. It turned out that he could give every tiatrist a run for their money since he could put on a more convincing act than any of them. Now he struts around and continues the bad work the Congress were doing. Their masters have become his masters.
So what happened regarding the donation of six of Goa’s rivers to Parrikar’s bosses at the Centre. His bosses’ bosses like Adani want navigation on rivers. Fine, do that. But why Goa? Goa’s ecosystem is so fragile, you dredge the rivers carelessly, remove the mangroves and flooding is bound to happen. Our natural beauty-based eco-tourism will die. Our rivers will die.
One wishes Parrikar’s near and dear would stop patting him on the back and tell him how his colleagues in Delhi actually speak about him. Does he he really command respect in Delhi or do they consider him a buffoon? He has happily allowed the NDA government to include six of our rivers for nationalisation. Gadkari comes to Goa and sniggers at Goa’s citizens for objecting to the nationalisation of six of our rivers, saying the Centre is not going to take the rivers to Delhi. He forgot to mention that the Centre is going to destroy not just the rivers, but the banks of those same rivers and the khazan lands that line most of them.
And what does Parrikar do? He and his new best friends Goa Forward, talk of how Goa will retain control of what is done to these rivers. Goa will see to the dredging, Goa will build the jetties and any project will have to be passed by the Captain of Ports. They make the Captain of Ports out to be such a strong, feared figure in Goa. The same Captain of Ports that is sucking its thumb while that giant piece of junk of an MV Lucky 7 digs itself deeper into the sandbar outside Miramar.
Parrikar says once a legislation is made, it cannot be overturned. Oh yes it can. The people were not consulted on this donation of six of our rivers to the Centre. Like the dictatorship that it has become both at State and Central level, the people’s view were not taken. Not only will the Centre own the six rivers of Goa, it will also have ownership of 500 metres of land on either bank of the river.
Now they are talking of an M.O.U. with the Centre insisting on Goa having a say in what projects are going to be allowed in our six rivers and their banks. Ravi Naik had a simple solution. Do not sign any MOU with the Inland Waterways Authority, the MPT and the Captain of Ports.
We, the people, have no say in the matter. If flooding takes place. If Adani’s coal dust destroys the beauty of this State, and lungs of the children of Goa, in the years to come, Manohar Parrikar would have retired to rear cows in Neturlim. Future generations will pay the price of his weakness and inability to protect Goa from a rampant Central government that is masterminded by corporates.
Now they are going to fight for rights in the MOU. Gadkari will only giggle again.
The Goa government has to reverse the takeover of our rivers by the Centre. It has 90 more rivers to desecrate. Let the NDA government take over other rivers in India. Leave our Goan rivers alone. If we have to have navigation on them, let us decide together with the MLAs, how best to include navigation as one of the uses of the rivers apart from sailing for pleasure, sailing for crossing, fishing, tourism and housing crocodiles.
The Goa BJP-led government must demand an amendment to the act of Parliament now. We have to take back our rivers, or Goa is lost. Not just our rivers. And Manohar Parrikar and Vijay Sardesai and all who make up this miserable bunch of legislators will know that they were the 40 who killed Goa.
“We can’’t overturn the act of Parliament, or even can’t say no to it. The act of Parliament has given the authority of six Goan rivers to the IWAI and we the Goa government through the MoU will get all the powers and funds to carry out the work on dredging, building jetties and other required work for navigation and shipping,” Parrikar said on the floor of the House replying to a private member’’s resolution moved by Ponda MLA Ravi Naik, which asked the government not to sign any MoU with central authorities so as to protect the Goan rivers.
A legislation is not a done deal. It can be amended. Our 40 wise men and women must take our rivers back.