Tuesday, 21 June 2011

RPG-2021: vision of poverty for the masses and prosperity for few

1.     Mopa airport
This document’s first release mentions 60 meters wide road connecting proposed Mopa airport with highway NH 17. It also advocates 10 meters setback. This means total width of the land to be acquired for the road is going to be 80 meters wide. (page 11). The new airport is not needed for Goa. Military control of Dabolim airport must be removed and current restrictions of air traffic must be done away with. Airport in Pernem means huge amount of loss of land and livelihood to the local people. It is the landlord Jeetendra Deshprabhu who slept on Konkan railway tracks few years ago to demand imposition of airport on Mopa plateau covering five villages. He and his family that owns over 85% of Pernem – thanks to colonial heritage - stands to benefit the most with resultant real estate boom. Airport is a development strategy for poverty and dispossession of the local people – Mulnivasi. In any case so much of tourism has created huge price rise in Goa, acute pressure on land, water, food, vegetable, fish, infrastructure etc. Tourist annual population is touching almost double the figure of Goa’s population. It is time that tourism must be reduced. If this is not done then Mulnivasi people are in the danger of extinction with combination of other factors like mining, industry etc. It is the tiny brhaminical minority who is involved in making majority of people if Goa and India homeless for the purpose of enslavement.

2.      One Kilometer Buffer zone for sanctuaries
One kilometer buffer zones to sanctuaries are recommended (Page 13). Indian laws prescribes 10 kilometer buffer zone. Goa government recommended 0 kilometer buffer zone. All this is to let mining companies to extract iron ore and manganese in Goa. Mining companies make huge profits and local people are pushed into poverty and desperations leading towards innumerable sicknesses and addictions like alcoholism. This is important means to take mining into forest. Mining itself it highest plunderer of Goa’s mineral wealth. During 2009-10 Goa exported 46 millions tones at the rate of Rs. 5,000 per tone.  Total income of the mining companies is Rs.23,00,00,00,00,00/-. Goa government collected Rs.170 crore through taxes and royalties. This is massive loot and promotion of poverty of the mulnivasis. Mining needs to be nationalized immediately.

3.      Eco-tourism
Eco-tourism is recommended (Page 26). Eco-tourism does not mean control of tourism trade by local Mulnivasi people. In fact it is also the extension of control by luxury tourism dictated by powerful financial interest groups controlled by Brhamins , Vyasas etc. Eco-tourism does not mean prosperity to mass of people as its objective is accumulation of profit. In addition forests are going to be opened up for these reasons.

4.      Agro-based eco-tourism
This is a new addition to development discourse of Goa (page 27). With this it can be expected that state would aggressively pursue the path of converting agricultural lands tourism. It is unclear as to why this is specifically included in addition to eco-tourism.  This is a strategy to open up agriculture areas for tourism.

5.      Commercial private forestry
This document recommends natural cover zones to promote commercial private forestry (page 28). Currently state government is pushing tribal people out of forest areas. This suggestion is made to directly allow free play of private capital into Goa’s forest. This means that locals – tribals, mulnivasis – will be removed from their habitation and capitalists’ ventures will be promoted. This is complete sale out. State’s policies are inherently designed to create inequality and poverty.

6.      Growth hubs with higher FARs allocations
Growth hubs are proposed in some parts of Goa (page 28). This is meant to further marginalize local mulnivasi people. Higher FARs allocation meant greater possibilities of constructions – real estate. This is totally top down approach to development in a plan that that was meant to be bottom-up exercise in development. Suggestion of local people – Mulnivasi - is simply thrown out of window. Disappearance of VP3 status to various panchayats is another example.

7.      Land Pooling for satellite townships
This document wants more land through ‘land pooling’ exercises lure existing land owners to be ‘stakeholders’ in final development (page 29).  The intention of this suggestion is to soften the likely opposition to take over of land from the mulnivasis residing in villages surrounding cities. The objective is to slyly take control the land from the local mulnivasi. Making mulnivasis as stakeholders in the development is impractical and mere enticement to part with land.

8.      Micro Industrial Zones
This is proposed for every village with projected population of 10,000 by 2021 (Page 30). For this purpose 5 hectares of land will be taken in each of such Panchayats. This is meant to strengthen brahminical hold over Goa. Industry including mining, Industrial estates, Small scale industry, Goa Chamber of commerce and Industry (GCCI), Goa Small Scale Industries Associations has a tight grip by braminical forces. There is no auditing nor white paper is prepared as to what is the state of current industrial estates, from which Mulnivasis lands were taken for industry, how many local people are employed, what is the nature of employment – contract or permanent, what are the safety measures for working inside the factory as well as people living surrounding the industry, what is the nature of historical injustices perpetuated by the act of land take over for the purpose of industry etc.
The micro industrial zones are dubbed as employment generators for the locals with nearly 80% capacity. State government must first examine the employment status of mulnivasis in Syngenta factory in Corlim Panchayat where even after 40 years of this factory no one is employed on permanent basis and just two people are employed from on contract basis from Dhulapi and Mangado villages. Syngenta occupies 200 acres of mulnivasi people’s land. Similarly ONGC unit on Betul plateau has employed 35 people on temporary basis for the past 13 years with a daily wage of Rs.150/- till date. This is a state of employment to locals in the industry and this situation needs to be changed and employment must be made secure before proposing new micro industrial zones. In these zones like in industrial estates local panchayats will have no control. This is meant only as lure to land grab and extend brahmanical hegemony further.

9.      Forest Rights Act 2006 implementation
This document cleverly sabotages implementation of forest rights act 2006 (page 30-31). On the one hand it says government will implement the Forest Rights Act 2006 on the other hand it says ‘subject to the provisions’ of Forest conservation Act and trees Act. The document conceals the fact that forest rights act supersedes all over laws including forest conservation act and trees act. In any case Goa State government with Brahmin Digambar Kamat – whose family ties are with mining companies - as Goa’s Mines Minister, Tribal affairs minister and chief minister has totally sabotaged the implementation of Forest Rights Act by ignoring to constitute Sub-divisional committees and district level committees. These are required in order to facilitate filing of claims by Tribal people living in forest areas including inside the sanctuaries. State government filed report with tribal affairs ministry that OBC in Goa are objecting to the implementation of forest rights act. It is very clear that brahmanical state structure of Goa wants to create conflict between tribals and adivasis. Non-implementation of Forest rights act on the part of Goa government is a very serious step to increasing harassment and oppression of Tribes and forest dwellers. 

10.   Helipads all over Goa
Goa government plans to construct around 50-60 helipads all over Goa (page 31). The reasons given are for emergency landing in case of emergency. Now on the one hand State has been going about constructing roads all over and yet no confidence in them. It plans helipads. What are the dangers that ruling caste cum class structure is envisaging? It is none other than mass road blockade that happened couple of times Mandovi bridges and Chief Minister was forced to come and meet up the tribal agitators and negotiate. The provision is not just for the current 40 MLAs of the Assembly but also for the future when the assembly seats will be extended to 60. Big rich investors and mining companies in Goa too look at Goa’s Mulnivasi people as potential danger.  So to escape their ire and anger helipads are planned.

11.  World Class Knowledge society
This document envisages world class knowledge society in Goa (Page 34). What is world class? No definition is provided. Therefore few comments are warranted. Goa University could have been the leader of this world class knowledge society if Goa government has not succumbed to the disastrous brahminical agenda and reject the offer to get it the status of Central University. Delhi’s JNU is a one such University. Education is very affordable for those who are economically not so well off and provides opportunity to improve their lot. Goa government wants to make education increasingly inaccessible to local Mulnivasi people. It continuously raises University tuition fees. It has got one of the most misfit individual  - A. Monserrate as Goa’s education Minister so that Director of Higher Education Brahmin Bhaskar Nayak can have a open field to continue brahminical hegemony over higher education. Number of qualified people are employed to teach in colleges on contract basis as if Goa does not have money to pay the teachers. Why this is continuing? Because Goa government want to make Goa’s mulnivasi people its slaves – take education away from them in economic means. On the one hand take away their land and on the other hand hike the prices – cost of living. This is the state of Goa that has earned Rs. 23,00,00,00,00,00/- only through mining exports for the year 2009-2010. Higher education in Goa is a huge scandal. Young minds are subjected to planned distraction so that rule of Brahmins continues. How else Goa’s 2% Brahmins retain their legitimacy to rule. If legitimacy is lost then they will be exposed and targeted by public and rule of majority of people – Mulnivasis will be established. Brahmins will find themselves in the dustbin of history and will have to run for cover.

12.  Plotting against taxis and ‘motorcycle pilots’
The document attempts to find a way to throw motorcycle pilots and taxis out of roads (Page 36). This document suggests need to start waterways and river based transportation and explicitly mentions taxis and ‘pilots’. Who will be operation these transportation system? Private companies? Who will be owning the these companies? Baniyas? Brahmins?  Here again the impoverishment agenda becomes clear.

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