Monday, January 4, 2010

Corlim Panchayat ditches villagers on Syngenta

Here is a very interesting insight into how huge multinational companies functions in the villages of third world countries and how their elected members in democracy in place go ga ga over the lures and perks offered to them. This case is of Syngenta, the Swiss pesticides manufacturing firm located at Dhulapi in the Corlim Panchayat Jurisdictions in Goa, India.

The industry has been facing stiff resistance for the expansion of Pesticides plant in the Dhulapi, Corlim, Tiswadi taluka. Few days ago villagers along with Environmentalist Dr. Claude Alvares carried on inspection of Syngenta file at Corlim Panchayat. They found that Corlim panchayat has ditched the villagers royally and granted the construction license to the plant even before it could get Environmental Clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forest, New Delhi. The original copies of the license granted is missing from the file at Corlim Panchayat.

While the villagers gathered to pass resolution to oppose Syngenta's expansion plans in a Gram Sabha on April 26, 2008, the village Panchayat elected body gave construction license one day before on April 25, 2008. Subsequently after the construction was carried by Syngenta Panchayat elected body went ahead and granted occupancy certificate to Syngenta.

Due to RTI application village Panchayat authorities got the duplicate copies furnished from Syngenta company! Original copies are missing as per current trend missing of files from government offices with regard to major projects in the state. In the copy of construction license submitted to the Panchayat by Syngenta no discussion is recorded and all the elected members of the Panchayat included two from Dhulapi are recorded as supporting Syngenta expansion for pesticides expansions. The permission is granted under section section 66 of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act.

This entire episode is danger sign to the health of democracy in Goa. This is anything but certainly not rule of the people. It is for all of us understand whose rule is in operation and how. Things certainly are becoming increasingly visible...

Sebastian Rodrigues

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