Farmers from Mormugao, Bicholim and Ponda taluka called on Deputy Collector Anthony D’Souza on Tuesday to express their opposition to the underground gas pipeline proposed to be laid from Dabhol to Bangalore which will pass through their agricultural lands.
Proposed by the Gas Authority of India Ltd., (GAIL) the pipeline which will pass through the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa will be plugged at Gokak to supply gas to Goa and is expected to be completed by 2012.
The farmers complained that they will lose their ownership rights to the land through which the pipeline will pass. In preparation for this project, the administration had notified the farmers in these talukas not to erect any structures in their lands as the same may have to be demolished for the project.
Farmers were not willing to accept the official assurance that farming activity will not be affected and feared that they will be dispossessed of their land one day or the other.
Deputy Collector Anthony clarified that the government does not propose to acquire any land for this project. Instead, the land will be reverted back to the owners once the pipeline is laid, he said. It is learnt that once the project is completed, Goa will have two gas stations to supply gas for domestic consumers.
As the farmers were not satisfied with the government response, the authorities have now decided to ask the Union Petroleum Ministry to furnish all details of the project.
It would be pertinent to note that in 1983 when the CHOGM Retreat was hosted in Goa, the government was forced to go in for requisition instead of acquisition when the owners of the land sought to be acquired for use for only two days moved the courts.