Goa: Opposition to IIT project at Sanguem gaining ground

At the second consecutive meeting held on Sunday, farmers charged the government for being on the way to environmental destruction and behind the poor farmers to take their farmlands.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Monday, September 12, 2022, 04:18 PM IST
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Opposition to the IIT project in Sanguem is increasing with each passing day with farmers leaving no stone unturned to reach maximum cultivators to voice their grievances.

While earlier it seemed like it was just a certain group of farmers opposing IIT, the number of farmers against the plan is increasing with every meeting held against the project.

At the second consecutive meeting held on Sunday, farmers charged the government for being on the way to environmental destruction and behind the poor farmers to take their farmlands.

"We have been cultivating the lands in Cotarli village for generations together and despite there being vast tracts of our plantation at the proposed site for IIT, it is ironic that Sanguem MLA Subhash Phaldessai is falsely claiming that there is no plantation at the site," said a farmer.

Nanda Mapari while raising her grievances charged Subhash Phaldessai for conveying lies.

Mapari claimed that during the election campaign, Phaldessai had assured to provide fencing for her paddy field at Cotarli as it is being destroyed by stray cattle.

"The assurance given by Phaldessai has, however, remained only in the air," charged Mapari, further adding that the MLA is only on his way to environmental destruction in Sanguem and finishing the very living aspect of the farmers for his selfish gains.

Mapari warned Phaldessai over making any efforts to come down to their paddy fields saying the farmers will not hesitate to step up their agitation in the days to come.

Another farmer Carlota Fernandes slammed the government for taking the farmers for granted and using police machinery to silence their voices.

"The agricultural plantations at Cotarli village prove the very existence of these farmlands for generations together. It is, however, surprising of frequent claims made by Phaldessai of there being no farmlands within the area proposed to be allotted for IIT," said a farmer.

Joseph Fernandes warned the government of the future course of action to be resorted by the farmers if the government fails to shift the project elsewhere.

Another farmer Maria Fernandes spoke on the effects that would be caused on the environment and the farmlands within the vicinity of the proposed site for IIT.

"The mountain which adorns the proposed site is a home for a large number of peacocks, birds and other wild animals. Where will the government shift these animals?" the farmers questioned.

Meanwhile, Sanguem MLA Subhash Phaldessai assured the farmers that no part of their farmlands will be acquired for the project.

"The area that is being demarcated by the authorities is government-owned land. We have not interfered with any privately owned lands," he said while adding that the farmers are being misguided by some political leaders.

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