29 Oct 2020  |   04:22am IST

People’s action to protect Goa: Is it making a difference?

On Tuesday evening one of the main groups fighting against the three main environmentally destructive projects Goyant Kollso Naka held a midnight protest at the Sao Jose De Areal railway crossing where work on laying the tracks as a part of the double tracking project was about to commence. With a government refusing to pause to discuss the reasons for a massive state wide protest against his and two other projects the People vs Govt narrative is reaching a flashpoint
People’s action to protect Goa: Is it making a difference?

Ajit John

There are agitations taking place in the state against various projects in the state, the 

three planned 

projects

 involve diversion of a total of 250 hectares of forest land and felling of 59,000 trees from the notified Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park, Eco Sensitive Areas of the Western Ghats. Is the government taking these agitations seriously or do they plan to just bulldoze their way through. Café spoke to people involved in the agitation as well as ordinary Goans who have an opinion on the matter.

We are frustrated but we will tell the government what Goans are made of

Seeing the current situation, the elected representatives are giving the public a deaf year and are going ahead fully fledged with these projects.  We the protesters we will do our best to protect our Goa even if we have to lie down under a bulldozer or on a railway track. We will do it.  And people have reached a boiling point after work that was carried out in San Jose de Areal at midnight on Tuesday late night. We are frustrated and we will show the government what the people are made of.  The government will not listen and go full throttle.  They feel Goenkars will come in small numbers but we will show we are united and we will show our strength

Cecille  Rodrigues , Social activist

 

The govt is least bothered, but they have duty to the people

I don’t think the government is least bothered about what people are saying and I don’t know what is pressuring them to not listen to the people who elected them. If the government does not listen then the people are not going to keep quiet. They have a duty to listen to the people who elected them

Father Bolmax Pereira, Parish Priest Chicalim

 

The Govt is not even addressing the issues raised by the campaign

I don’t think they are serious. They are not even addressing the issues raised by the campaign and seem focused on defending the decisions taken by them. I think what can help us is that certain aspects of the projects are being looked at by the high court and one can only hope they help us

Anamika Gode Environmental lawyer

 

It can easily make you wonder if our voices even matter.

When you look at the situation on the ground, it is very apparent that the people of Goa do not support a lot of what the government envisions for their collective futures. With the elections still over a year away, there seems to be no real leverage for citizens demanding better and more sustainable governance. It can easily make you wonder if our voices even matter. By staging consistent civil agitations, the people of Goa are getting themselves heard. And the coverage of these events by Goa's earnest media outlets has been extremely inspiring

Marc Francis  People Patterns, a social organisation that made a path-break ing documentary on three environmentally ‘destructive’ projects

 

Govt needs to go beyond attributing motives to people’s agitations

Every new project sees objections from a few, I would urge the Government to see why this happens and what the motives are beyond foreign funding  and stalling progress in Goa.   The   people who have lived in the state deserve a better life and it is the duty of the state to provide it

Meenacshi Martins, 

Activist & 

  Actress

 

The voice of opposition needs to be united

As of now it seems to me like a lot of different groups opposing the developments but no there is no United voice so it’s easy for the government to ignore them. Secondly are any of the groups actually looking at alternative

Nupura Hautamaki  Online Marketer

 

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