Any new project in Goa does not accomplishes without the stiff opposition from the local residents, take an example of Konkan Railways or floating Casinos in Goa, have faced huge resistance from Goan people, but it always ended with defeat of agitators, it is very difficult to say why people in Goa fight against any new development and why at the end of the day give the mission.
There is a new agitation kicking off against the golf course resorts at Teracol. The golf course project at the Teracol is spread over the 342 acres of land which will include the golf course and allied hospitality services such as resort and spa and is expected to cover the entire village. Government is considering this project as the large revenue generation product. Government is also providing the subsidy of 25 per cent of the project cost while keeping the upper limit of maximum Rs. 50 crore.
On Sunday despite of heavy rains the entire village had came on the roads to protest against the golf course project. Besides the villagers, hundreds of people associated with several NGOs from across the state poured into the tiny village of Tiracol on Sunday to voice their protest against the golf course project. This is the first time that an agitation against the golf course was supported by people outside Tiracol. Speakers at the meeting said that the golf course was earlier planned by the government in connivance with the builders in Betul and Paliem plateaus but people united and opposed the projects and were successful in doing away with the project.
“If the project comes up in the village, the forest cover, natural springs and traditional fishing activity will be permanently destroyed,” said one of the local agitators. Speakers at the meeting said that the golf courses developers Leading Hotels Pvt Ltd claimed that the land acquired for the project is barren but the environment impact assessment report prepared by the company’s own consultant shows the 19,000 plants and trees in the property while indicating the 1,966 tress which will be chopped for this project. “Governance is neglecting the environmental violation and supporting plan which will destroy Goa and Goans. We are here to declare our support to the villagers of Tiracol” said Sabina Martins of Goa Bachao Andolan.
The speakers at the meet also said that the company has submitted a proposal to install 17 bore wells in the property and since these well falls within the uppermost part of the property and the village is located below, villagers will face scarcity of water. “The most negative effect of the golf course project will be the effect on drinking water. Around 1,250 cubic metre of water will be required for the project per day,” environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar said. “All Goans will come together. The golf course planned at Paliem plateau was scrapped after people cutting across all barriers opposed the project. This time also Goans will come together to save Tiracol” Kerkar said. “Tourists at the golf course will be from America and Europe. About 450L of water will be required per tourist per day. From where will the water come? The government plans to start a new water treatment plant at Tuem to feed the golf course project,” he said.
Prasad Shahapurkar, legal advisor St Anthony’s tenant mundkar association (SATMA) said, “Tenancy rights have been violated by Leading Hotels Pvt Ltd. The people are with us now. The movement is to save Goa. We are fighting to save land for future generations. We don’t want money.” “We have to protect our ancestral land. There is a wrong understanding of development. What is happening is destruction of nature. Many years ago people fought and opposed the previous proposals of golf courses. We are with the people of Tiracol and this time too we will not allow a golf course project,” said Fr Eremito Rebello.