Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Lion Roars -18

August 12-18, 2013

Land sale moratorium easier than Special Status - Concluded

Food for Thought

There is a moratorium on the sale of agricultural land (till January 1, 2016) in the Ukraine known as the breadbasket of Europe only because the moratorium prohibits not only alienation of any land that is designated (zoned) as “farm land”, but it specifically bars all foreign citizens and foreign-owned companies from owning such land.  Last month Georgia prohibited the sale of land to foreigners and foreign firms following amendments made to the law on ownership of agricultural land.  They establish a moratorium on the sale of land to foreign citizens and companies registered abroad before December 31, 2014.  The law also requires the government of Georgia during six months to develop a unified state policy on ownership of agricultural land for rational use and protection of land resources.

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Lion Roars – 17

August 5-11, 2013

Land sale moratorium easier than Special Status

This is something for everyone in Goa to ponder upon, especially the Movement for Special Status to Goa (MSSG) and Goa’s Movement for Special Status (GMSS), because evidently the same status given to Himachal Pradesh is not working.  In 2010 the issue of Benami Land Transactions in violation of section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972 and irregularities in the issue of Essentiality Certificates for buying land for development, under the Himachal Pradesh Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 2005; was raised in the HP Vidhan Sabha.  A year later in 2011 the HP government appointed D P Sood (retired judge of the HP High Court) to inquire into these issues.

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Lion Roars – 15

July 22-28, 2013

No Hospet-Vasco double track; or is it double talk?

Only because of the too many promises chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s has made these past few weeks, this could easily be a case of double talk with the country’s general elections also being not too far off.  Look at it this way, Parrikar (the right time, right moment man) was first off the block, followed a hair splitting second later by the forest and environment minister Alina Saldanha, whom you would normally have to jump start to race for the finishing line.  Alina is Parrikar’s close ally and the 379 km Vasco da Gama to Hospet line is not only on her turf, it passes by her lovely home in Cansaulim.  So there.   But, Parrikar was right in so far as the point he wanted to make when he said the proposal to double the track was at the behest of industries who want to transport coal from Mormugao Port Trust.  And, there lies the road ahead for Goa.

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Lion Roars - 16

July 29-August 4, 2013

Michael Lobo, Nilesh Cabral earn their wings


It’s been tried, tested and fine-tuned to perfection by the Congress legislators but only fell short of the sham being patented now.  Otherwise, we would have been spared the boredom of the Calangute legislator Michael Lobo and St. Andre legislator Vishnu Wagh’s repeat of their litany of grouses till Santa Claus (chief minister) gave them what they wanted for Christmas.  So, Michael Lobo is off to Deutschland (pronounced Doysh-lant) to gawk at the same garbage treatment plant in Frankfurt, Parrikar, a trained engineer, has already inspected and approved.  Additionally, Lobo will have the opportunity to market his own hotels rooms and Wagh whose boyhood dream was to go to Parliament as a MP, will now change his mind, and view the workings of Parliament from the VIP gallery.  That will be his return gift to Parrikar as they do in parties these days.  Wagh who was gifted the chairmanship of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) can now relive all the earlier dreams he dreamt as ESG vice-chairman, the post he currently enjoys. At least he will not be flirting with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for now.

Lion Roars wishes that Germany whose use of industrial robots to minimize workforce will not be deterred by the size of the delegation which includes the chef-de-mission urban development minister Francis D’Souza, the Curchorem legislator and Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairman Nilesh Cabral and sarpanchas of some village panchayats.  Lobo’s return gift to Parrikar will be that he will now forget the names of the drug dealers in Calangute he recalled when he had a sudden memory jolt recently and he will also stop blaming tourism minister Dilip Parulekar for all his problems in Calangute because he will forget that Parulekar caused them all.  There is however no guarantee that the be-nice-to Parulekar will last long, because Lobo tends to be dragged between memory lapses and ….  Here’s a travel tip for both Lobo and Cabral, do take a long hard look at how the amazing Frankfurt airport was built and how it functions as one of the world’s best.  There is so much to learn there for the two of you and the taxpayer will forgive you if even a fraction of what you learn is implemented at Dabolim.

For Cabral the Germany visit could be the start of several long-haul tours as he plans to visit the US of A in December.  Then there is London, Moscow, Berlin, France and Singapore to include in his tight flying schedule all of this year.  As far as Parrikar is concerned, this packed itinerary will rid Cabral off his back for a year at least.  That’s two down and Time Out for Parrikar.   

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Lion Roars – 14

July 15-21, 2013

The rogue VP of Betalbatim

Despite what the news headlines say, the heated issue over the gated housing complex in Betalbatim which the villagers are opposing, may not be over yet.  This columnist thinks their victory may be a temporary one if the Nuvem legislator Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco is, as I believe, two-timing his own voters in this case; despite all that emerged from the July 12 critical meeting of the village panchayat (VP).  And this would not be the first time either.  There were just too many strange events that occurred in the run up to this victory and perhaps one of the few occasions when a north Indian developer well versed in Goa’s cesspool of deceit and under-the-table money transactions; was vanquished.

Let’s begin from the beginning.  A resident of Majorda, Alvaro Braganza sold approximately 3,000 sq mt of his land at Betalbatim to a person/s who has/have come to be known as Ibrahim & Sons, predictably through an agent, a NRG possibly from the same village but now believed to be a resident of Benaulim.  Yes, it’s the same old story of Goans selling out their ancestry.  Later, Ibrahim who Betalbatim villagers are yet to meet or see had a convenient name change and became Mavim Exim Pvt. Ltd, the name now inscribed on the crucial Form I & XIV and in the files of the VP.  Ibrahim & Sons or Exim thereafter bought up more surrounding land and is now in possession of an estimated 10,000 sq mts in Ranvaddo of the village.

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