Owing to COVID-19 pandemic, virtual clearance was granted to make way for three infrastructure projects passing through Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park will result in habitat loss and impact on wildlife. Many have expressed their concerns over the clearance. NT KURIOCITY asked a few youngsters their take on the same

During my last trip to Goa, I remember going to the Ghats near the border of Karnataka and listening to the sounds of the forest and my partner and I heard someone whistle a beautiful melody. To our amusement, it wasn’t a person; it was the unique mating call of the Malabar Whistling Thrush (a bird). It was in that moment I realised that we need our future generations to experience this and for that we need to go out of our way to make sure we preserve it. When I heard about the three projects that would end up destroying the habitat of these animals I didn’t feel anger. I felt disappointed and hurt. We choose our government not just to sit in the parliament, but to represent and safeguard the concerns of the people. This decision, taken hastily in the midst of a global pandemic is careless and unforgiving. We’ve been trying to voice out our grief through an online petition and sincerely hope the government reconsiders this atrocious decision of transporting coal at the cost of thousands of creatures that call the Western Ghats their home.

 

Louanne Dias, resident of Benaulim studying in Canada

Development is need of an hour and it is mandatory for everyone growth. But development at the cost of lives is not acceptable. Three major developmental projects have been given green signal in Goa during ‘lockdown’ where several thousands of trees will be felled. These projects are passing through Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a biodiversity hotspots and home to thousands of rare species of living beings which are found nowhere else in the world. This is a pristine treasure of nature that Goa has and we Goans should be caretakers and not destroyers. We must not forget that today the world is shut down because of the greedy human activities and treacherous intervention in natures functioning. Secondly, this project is tendered to a company that has a black mark on their profile for carrying out widespread illegal mining in Goa and caused prodigious harm to Goan Forest. They were also fined penalties of around 100 crore for their activities. And now giving our forests in the hands of such looters would be like committing suicide and keeping Goan Forest at stake.

 

Kishan Mangeshkar, Don Bosco College of Engineering, Fatorda

Our Goan forests are a treasure trove of excellent species of plants, animals and birds and are home to many rare and endangered species. As a Goan I am proud of our forests. But the news of three major projects getting clearance from Government shocked me. We all know that current pandemic is due to humans’ unnecessary and greedy interference nature; trying to forcefully mutate things in the ecosystem. We must consider this pandemic as a lesson. For the past so many decades we have been listening about accidents occurring in nature due to human intervention and it is getting worse. There’s no replacement to the damage we cause, therefore as aware citizens we must try to have more sustainable solutions to our needs. Every life matters, be it humans or animals. I feel lawmakers in Goa need to look out for other alternative and let the holy forest be untouched as this treasure needs to be handed over to the coming generations in a much better way.

 

Reuban Mascharenhas, Don Bosco College Of Engineering, Fatorda

As citizens of this nation we have the right to speak for ourselves and for others too, but we should not forget that others also include everything and everyone in our surrounding. Our Mother Earth is also precious to us and to our livelihood; hence we should never forget her in any situation. Knowing that this will deplete our ecosystem and biodiversity, the government will not hesitate to accomplish their task. Goa is famous not only for beaches but also for 238 species of birds and 722 species of plants and mammals like Black Panther that is spotted at Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. These projects would compromise safety of locals and damage clean water resources. Spending on such projects will lead to depletion and might be the beginning of new situation after this pandemic. Instead, the government should invest in different ways to help the needy in current scenario.

 

Vishvesh Kamat, Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, Assagao

Road widening project is necessary to some extent and can be allowed with suggestions and editions suggested by Wildlife Board. Other two projects are mainly for coal transport and should be opposed. These projects will not only affect Goa but global climate. Our natural resources, wildlife and overall well-being will be at stake.   Charan Dessai, wildlife activist, Ponda

Development is something we all look forward to, but at times what we call development is not the same for other beings that coexist with us. This is something we often forget and end up in a situation such as the current pandemic. However, I think is it is high time we decide whether to coexist or coexit.

 

Avin Anant Pai Kane, resident of Goa-Velha studying at the Angadi School of Architecture, Belagavi