KANNADA FAMILIES, MOST OF THEM FROM KARNATAKA, ARE STAYING IN GOA FOR SEVERAL YEARS, BUT THE NEW DEVELOPMENT IN THE STATE RESULTED INTO THEIR EVICTION FROM GOA’S WELL KNOWN BIANA BEACH ON WEDNESDAY. THE HOUSES OF THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WHO MIGRATED FROM KARNATAKA WERE DEMOLISHED, ALONG WITH TWO TEMPLES. ABOUT 200 FAMILIES OF LABOURERS, MOSTLY BELONGING TO BELAGAVI AND VIJAYAPURA, ARE FACING AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE. A TOTAL OF 55 HOUSES HAVE BEEN RAZED.
Goa government’s move to raze the houses of Kannadiga families living on Baina beach has caused a turmoil and chaos in the border districts. Kannada activists in Belagavi and Karwar have condemned the untimely move by Goa where 55 houses were demolished.
Due to the rains, the conditions of these families have only worsened in the last couple of days, with no roof covering them, and it has also caused a distressful impact on their mental well-being; the shock and the uncertainty of where will they go has been deeply scarring.Kannadiga organizations in Goa are trying to provide food and temporary shelters to those who have lost homes. They also did not receive any sort of compensation for their loss.
On Wednesday, the Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to Goa CM, Manohar Parrikar, to stop the eviction of Kannadigas from Baina beach and rehabilitate them at the earliest. Expressing his shock over the media reports of eviction of the 55 families, he said that most of these people being construction workers deserve humanitarian consideration. “They are living in Goa for several years and have been given an EPIC card and ration card. Most of them are construction laborers and deserve humanitarian consideration.”
Pointing out to the earlier communications to the Goa government in this connection, Siddaramaiah said that his cabinet colleague R V Deshpande had written to him in this regard on April 16, 2015. “Later on, it was followed by three letters by the Chief Secretary on May 8, 2015, June 9, 2016, and again on January 12, 2017, by the Chief Secretary requesting to rehabilitate these people. But so far, there is no update on this,” he said. He requested the Goan government to consider his request.
Industries minister R V Deshpande too vehemently condemned the action of Goa government. He has called the action inhuman and demanded immediate steps to rehabilitate the poor evacuees and also pay them suitable compensation. “From many decades Kannadigas who went Goa in search of jobs settled there. The Goa government has been demolishing their houses saying they were constructed illegally on government land or constructed on private land. After the demolition drive, Goa government has not taken any steps to provide shelter to them,” he added.
Kannadiga organizations to have come down heavily on the Goa government. “Kannadigas who are living in Goa are the main workforce in Goa. They are living in Goa for more than four decades. How can the government lose humanity and deny shelter for the urban poor? There are many such labor families who have come from Maharashtra and other states and living in Goa. Why is only Kannadigas are being targeted,” asked Ashok Chandaragi from Belagavi?
The Kannadiga families have been residing in the area for over 40 years. Previous governments had regularised their stay by issuing ration card, house numbers etc. It had also provided them water and power connections along with necessary documents.
In the operations which lasted till this noon, 55 hutments and 2 temples belonging to Kannadigas were demolished. About 250 police personnel were deployed for the demolition drive along with 8 police inspectors and 1 DSP cadre officer. Each team was split into groups consisting 45 police personnel including women personnel and 7 JCBs were employed during the eviction drive. Over 800 families have been evicted since 2004 with no efforts on rehabilitating them. The response from Karnataka state government to has been lukewarm considering the plight of displaced families.
Who is to blame here, the government or the people? Do you think the people deserve compensation for the demolishment of their homes? Comment below your views on this serious issue.