The Goa Restriction on Transfer of Agricultural Land Bill, to ban the sale of agricultural non-farmers from outside Goa and halt the conversion of paddy fields to settlement land, is the best pro-people and pro-farmer decision taken by the Pramod Sawant government.
It addresses the urgent need to protect whatever little is left of Goa’s resources and save our agricultural land and paddy fields.
From being consumed by real estate moghuls, aiming for a concrete takeover of Goa’s resources.
It is the only chance we have to grow crops, engage in activities that productively support farmers and protect Goa’s lungs.
While the cabinet has passed it and must be congratulated for it, there are murmurs that some fragments of opposition within the official dispensation have been heard. Irrespective of any credence given to these murmurs, this bill is an idea whose time has long arrived.
And if are powerful forces writing the script for the builders lobby who bring down our farms, hills, forests, trees for their mega construction projects, they will- forget any blessings- get the curses of Goans who will ensure that such people have no leadership role in our system.
Goans surely expect Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, having initiated this, to go ahead and take further such decisions to give Goans relief and protection starting with standing with the people who have opposed double tracking in South Goa. The same spirit of decision making is expected there too.