Edit Corner

The Settlement Zone!

Nothing can be truer than the reason behind the Government of Goa’s Cabinet decision to de-notify the property under Survey No 8/1.  ‘Settlement Zone’ was the operative word used in the de-notification of the land set aside for Airport parking to the Airport Authority of India (AAI).

But the settlement did not in any way refer to the classification of that land which shows as ‘Class B’ but refers to the ministers and bureaucrats who had been settled in order to commit this scam which runs into crores. While the valuation of this prime land alone is over 80 crore, the residential and commercial project planned by the developer with whom Bernard D’Costa one of the co-owners and representatives of other co-owners signed an Agreement to Sale will undoubtedly be much more.
The developer is known to many in the political and real estate circles, even GC is aware of who is this developer, but we have not revealed that bit of detail in our ‘Expose’ yet since we have not yet got a copy of the Agreement of Sale. We can assure our readers as soon as we get a copy of it, we will make it public.
Nevertheless what we have been able to clearly establish is the method in which the Chief Minister of Goa, Digambar Kamat; Revenue Minister, Jose Philip de Souza; and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mauvin Godinho used the law and its Cabinet right to allow this scam to take place; of course in return for monetary favors they have received.
And it is this decision in particular the people of Goa can really see the scam mentality of our politicians in this Congress-led government, wherein in the larger good of the state is overlooked in order to ensure that their money bags continue to get filled.
An Airport parking at Dabolim is a must and there is no doubt about that. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either blind not to notice the pathetic condition of the parking scenario at the airport or plain stupid. After much deliberation both the AAI and the Government of Goa zeroed down on this land and the process of acquisition had commenced; this process was moving since 2007. Then suddenly in late 2010 the process to de-notify it was pushed and finally in early 2011 it was de-notified. Besides the ‘Settlement Zone’ reason in the Cabinet decision; the ministers told the people through the media that the Government had taken this decision in the interest of the people of Goa and did not want Central agencies usurping land in Goa. Many people were filled with joy at the works of the ministers fighting to protect the rights of the people of Goa; little did our naïve people of Goa know that the ministers drama was an eye-wash to fool the people into believing that it is not the government of Goa who is the enemy but the Central agency in particular the Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence (MoD). And while in many cases the Indian Navy has taken land of the people of Goa under security pretext and that should also be open to questioning and scrutiny, in this particular case of the Airport parking land which belonged to a private party it is a lie on the part of the government to put the blame of the MoD and Indian Navy. In fact the government of Goa as an alternative land offered AAI land belonging to MoD without even checking with the MoD.
As GC we are convinced beyond doubt that this is a major scam in the list of growing scams in the state on account of these corrupt ministers and even more corrupt officials who give them legal loopholes to move ahead with the scam. We have raised this issue up with concerned authorities at the Centre and we are demanding for a probe into the ‘Dabolim Airport Land Acquisition Scam’. Whether or not the Centre is able to keep a check on the growing scams in the state is matter which is much debatable, but as a media house that endeavors to see a corrective action it is what we must do for the people of Goa and hope something good comes from our efforts and peoples’ prayers.
GC believes that Digambar Kamat must resign on this issue and with him Jose Philip de Souza; he has not moral and ministerial right to continue as the first person of the state of Goa after being a party to this scam and allowing it to happen. Since many years on account of government related land acquisition many people in Goa have been sacrificing their land willingly or unwillingly for the purpose of development in some form or the other. And in most cases it did not matter whether the land was Orchard, Garden or in Settlement Zone, what only mattered was the need to acquire; and it is in this context that this entire de-notification is dubious. Is Bernard D’Costa more important than any of the other Goans who has lost his land to government acquisition; I am led to believe he is, since his land is ‘Settlement Zone’ wherein ministers in particular are settled and so was Bernard who agreed to sell his land.

– Savio Rodrigues
  Founder & Editor
  Goa Chronicle.com


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