Protests against ‘mega projects’ have a habit of springing up when least expected and this has more to do with the quite and silent ways in which the Town and Country Planning Department operates.Sunday’s gram sabha at Sao Mathias saw the villagers of Vanxim raising the protest banner against a hotel project that is suspected to have a golf course besides buildings and other amenities.
Not much is know about the project or the plans of the new owners of the land, but residents fear that a large tourism-related project in this area would destroy the environment and the social fabric of the village. Protests against ‘mega projects’ have a habit of springing up when least expected and this has more to do with the quite and silent ways in which the Town and Country Planning Department operates. Utmost secrecy on the part of the government and the company is, more often than not, the cause of many a problem. Also the fact that the government is dragging its feet on notifying the Regional Plan 2021 has made matters worse. The only way of resolving this issue is through transparency on the part of the government and company. Firstly, all plans for the project, if submitted to the TCP, must be made public. Secondly, the company must begin a dialogue with the people to assuage their fears. Thirdly, if there is an issue over tenancy rights then the collector or mamlatdar should step in and resolve it. Do not wait for this boil to fester.