Goa,Politics,Immigration/Law/Rights, Fri, 27 Apr 2012IANS
Panaji, April 27 (IANS) Foreign land mafias are usurping and exploiting scarce land resources in Goa and creating “social and economic chaos”, Goa’s only representative in the Rajya Sabha told the upper house Friday.
Congress’s Shantaram Naik Friday tabled a private member’s bill in the Rajya Sabha, seeking special provisions for Goa under Article 371 of the Indian Constitution. He said “regulation” of land transactions in Goa, one of tiniest states in India, was the only way to preserve the identity of the region.
“Land is becoming a scarce commodity, more particularly in small states. Land mafias from foreign countries are landing in states like Goa with tons of money, buying huge areas and creating social and economic chaos. Some of the parties are potential enough to buy a whole village in a smaller state like Goa,” Naik said in the statement of objects and reasons of his newly introduced bill in parliament Friday.
“Rights existing under the constitution should not be so unfettered so as to change the economic scenario of a smaller state, particularly its villages, much to the disadvantage of the state and its people,” Naik said.
“Anti-social elements which become a part of such uncontrolled transactions are proving disastrous for a state like Goa,” Naik said, adding that states had to be empowered to “enact appropriate legislations to bring in restrictions on transfer of land and other immoveable properties on grounds of duration of residential requirement.”
The issue of special status has been raised by NGOs and political parties in the state, who claim that land prices are escalating due to uncontrolled purchases by real estate lobbies from outside Goa.
Apart from real estate lobbies, popular coastal beach stretches are also in the cross hairs of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which has red-flagged several real estate deals on the coastline. These were allegedly funded by the front men for the Russian mafia.
While over 40,000 Russian tourists hit Goa’s beaches in the tourist season from October to March, the beach tourism destination also saw some 4,000 Israeli tourists hitting the surf here annually.