GOA, which was called as the Rome of the East and which had a clean and green environment, in the last three decades, has seen large-scale environment degradation which was basically due to wrong policies of the government of India, supported meekly by the governments of Goa during this period. The politicians did not envisage a green environment for Goa and without application of mind went into the rampant concretisation, which has proved to be detrimental to the environment and thus Goa’s ecosystem has had to suffer. The latest in a series of subjugation was the surrendering of the Goa government to agree to the three projects in wildlife sanctuary and national park at Mollem. If a referendum is conducted today, at least 70 per cent of Goans will vote against the said projects, which is going to lead to the decimation of the Western Ghats region. Reports have emerged in the newspapers that the Centre agreed to move the said projects outside Goa but the Goan politicians, probably because of their vested interests, have bowed down to these projects. From NGOs to the signature campaigns to even the young students of Goan primary schools, there in an overwhelming opposition to these projects. Here it would be prudent to clarify that a big Indian company, which has acquired the Carmichael coal mines in Australia, is probably going to ship coal, which is a third world fuel that billows huge quantities of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere and is going to use Mormugao Port Trust as a port for transiting huge quantities of coal into the neighbouring states. The Goan politicians are the worst offenders in allowing coal into the state and damaging not only the environment but also making the people of Goa susceptible to respiratory diseases. In most developed countries, coal has been almost totally phased out but still the government of India is not phasing out coal and instead adopting solar power. What is the point of having formed the International Solar Alliance? It is pertinent to note that if the Mollem projects go through despite the filing of cases against it, the Goan politicians will be the ones to be blamed for the rampant decimation of the environment in Goa. About 77,000 trees are going to be felled to enable the projects.
ELVIDIO MIRANDA, PANAJI