Mega Projects and Mega Infrastructure in Goa: Who is Coming in the Way of Whom?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The immediate trigger for this article is an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the proposed modernization and expansion of port infrastructure, supposedly for fishing, coastal, multipurpose cargo berth and liquid/general cargo at Mormugao Port, Goa, which has been prepared for Mormugao Port Trust, a body corporate under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, by Ultratech Environmental Consultancy and Laboratory.

 

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Wanted Urgently: A New Model of Governance

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

I was astounded to hear, a couple of months ago, of a glass house being built in Goa. Large-scale glass usage in buildings was developed to allow in maximum natural heat in cold climes, which reduced artificial heating and thus saved energy. Glass-fronted commercial buildings then became popular the world over, an aspirational look that became known as the International Style, even where they had to be supported by expensive airconditioning. But a glass house in a hot and humid place like Goa? Described in trade journals as the vision of fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani and architect Sameep Padora, and ‘nestled among the lush green fields and backwaters of Goa’, the villa will apparently sprawl over about 660 sq m., in a huge 1690 sq m. plot. It uses very special kinds of glass, we are told, designed for ‘intrusion-resistance’, privacy, and energy efficiency, besides keeping out dust and noise. No information of its cost, nor its consumption of air-conditioning.

 

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High Time for Just and Equitable Transition

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

With the Supreme Court having directed closure of mines in Goa, with the “mining-dependents” having taken to the streets, and the issues of workers’ displacement lying unaddressed, it is necessary to expose the myths that are being fomented by the mining mafia, that has so far managed to lawlessly hold sway and control everything from governance and land, to media and identity.

 

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Public Hearings: How the Coal is sought to be tempered

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Public hearings under the Environment Protection Act, were lobbied for by people, as a space to articulate their concerns about any proposed project and also to seek clarifications. But from the State’s point of view they seem to have been envisaged to contain and co-opt people’s views within the frameworks of the project proponent by saying they considered people’s concerns and finalised the environment impact assessment report.

 

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No Bamboo Banawing!

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By VISHVESH KANDOLKAR

 

On a recent visit to the Konkan Bamboo and Cane Development Centre (KONBAC) at Kudal, I came to know that there has been a drastic change in strategy to promote bamboo as construction material. Rather than endorsing bamboo as an affordable material for the poor, especially to build cost-effective houses, it is now being popularised as a material that satisfies the upwardly mobile elites’ fad of sustainability. Although the desire to replace unsustainable materials is laudable, the question is whether these projects, using bamboo, are truly as sustainable as they claim to be? Moreover, there also arises an issue of appropriation of material culture, especially of the poor in tribal areas by the dominant elites.

 

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The Bismarque Moment

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The death of Bismarque Dias in suspicious circumstances, is signalling different things to different people that can all be woven together in what can be called a Moment. The Dead Bismarque is more dangerous than a living Bismarque, a poster reads. Indeed an activist like him committed to a vision and a cause is invincible, even in death, or more so in death. Repression begets revolt. The premature malicious feeding by the State through the media, about how Bismarque’s death came about, has inspired community investigations, speculation and reflection.

 

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