As far as population density goes, Goa has already passed peak saturation point. Do these geniuses not know that? Still they want to get their hands on more and more of Goa’s land.
There are three bills of vital importance Goans need to pay attention to: Rohan Khaunte is in the news for two bills – one for killing the comunidades and the other for requisitioning private property for a song. A few days ago, Vijai Sardesai talked of his plans to introduce Transfer of Development Rghts which also allows the government to get private property for a song. Messrs Khaunte & Sardesai have always worked well together. Now Goa needs to be worried. Because this combine has no conscience.
Not just they. This present lot of MLAs both Congress and BJP with their motely crowd, are sparing no effort to get their hands on privately owned lands and on the comunidades of Goa.
Both national parties when in power have tried tirelessly to prise independence from the hands of village comunidades. They managed to get a government administrator into the comunidades, but now, they are planning to weaken the comunidades by cutting funding. Pratapsing Rane the elder of the Opposition enthusiastically agreed saying that just because they are old institutions we should not be sentimental about them. Sentiment means loss, he said.
That is indeed a brilliant statement coming from Pratapsing Rane. He should have said that to his own voters before this election.
Minister of Revenue Rohan Khaunte suggested a schedule for cutting state funds to the comunidades to get them to be “self-sustaining”.
The centuries-old Gaunkari system was renamed Comunidades by the Portuguese, but not interfered with. It lived for four and a half more centuries. It used to be self-sustaining when Goa was a planned happy contented society, where Goans worked side by side to sow and reap what they sowed. Now comunidade lands sow encroachers and harvest slums.
Bureaucrats and politicians of every hue are looking at the vast comunidade lands with a covetous eye. Pratapsing Rane very clearly said, “Something new has to be done because the comunidades and the code of the comunidades give little tutelage (control or power) to the government”.
The Goa Requisition and Acquisition of Property Bill, 2017 is another one that is being floated by Revenue minister-in-a-tearing-hurry Rohan Khaunte. He moved the bill on Thursday, which gives the government overriding power to requisition privately owned land for transport facilities, for tourism promotion, housing, government offices, industrial estates and medical facilities. This Bill is gunning for private property. They can requisition any property for a so-called public purpose, and use it as they please for a pre-set number of years. Once they requisition the land, there is no guarantee that the government will return it to its owners.
The Central Land Acquisition Act is expensive for state governments. Everything this bunch of real estate brokers sitting in the Goa Assembly are doing is aimed at one thing only – selling off Goa’s land. They are eyeing the comunidades and facilitating the destruction of the comunidades by regularizing the illegal structures built by encroachers. This regularization sends out a signal to every landless labourer in the country, that in Goa, you can build a small shanty on comunidade land and expand it as the years go by because it will be regularized.
Now add these two bills of Rohan Khaunte’s to Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai’s plans for the new regional plan 2030 where Transfer of Development Rights will turn rural Goa into urban Goa.
As it turned out exercising our franchise, some hitting NOTA, hoping to put our taxes into responsible hands, was a complete waste of time and trouble. We’ve gotten ourselves another bunch of lazy real estate brokers, with no loyalty to the State. It does not matter who wins. Goa loses.