Panjim, Jan 19
The youngest member of Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA) Aaron Pereira today sought the intervention of MP Rahul Gandhi to save Goa from destruction which is going on through reckless mining, land acquisitions with land scarce resources of Goa.
“I have faith in your vision, I beg to abandon Goa to thoughtless policies, surely encouraging discontent and naxalism. The people will be with you if you stop illegal mining and disempowerment government gazetted land grab in the name of public interest” Aaron said in his letter he handed over to Rahul Gandhi during the latter’s interaction with the students in the Goa University campus, Taleigao.
He said as a young Goan he is desperately helpless and frustrated to see the accelerated lawlessness and plunder Goa’s land going through, with rampant mining and mindless land acquisition with little public interest at heart.
“I have seen successive Governments arbitrarily acquiring land and promising employment, with little or no thought behind them, housing projects disguised as SEZs, five star resorts disguised as Food Parks….And what of IT park? How do we trust this when the first heavily advertised building was a super mall in the shape of a ship?” Aaron asked.
Elaborating further, he said that just as our beaches prove to be our lifeline in terms of fishing and tourism, there’s another secret to our well being – the richly forested Western Ghats.
Passing through the spine of Goa, he pointed out that they are part of the top twelve bio-diverse spots in the world, and are responsible for fresh water springs, crucial to the well being of people. New species and medicinal plants are being discovered regularly in these regions. “If Goan people are known for being peaceful, its because they have lived in harmony with everything that nature provides”, the letter says.
However this world hotspot is being destroyed at an alarming rate, with it people and secrets locked in plants that we are yet to find uses for, Aaron said.
Giving an example, he said like Switzerland has kept its beauty, leveraging chocolate, banking and natural beauty as its industry, why can’t Goa make an industry of export of medicinal plants unique to the Ghats, of Feni, of managed forestation in denuded areas that serve the Indian Plywood industry and increase green cover at one stroke.
Why can’t Goa be the jewel in India’s crown, a successful experiment in a small place, brought about by the will of a forward thinking Government? He asked.
If you help swing policy for equitable distribution, making Goa a rich and sustainable state you will be forever etched in our memory as the politician who did the right thing.
Herald, 20 January 2010