The flotilla of barges plying in Goa‘s rivers presents a charming diversion to the tourist, but this picture postcard scene masks a dark and ominous reality.
Goa is being mined to death, with devastating consequences, some of them not yet upon us. Forests have been flattened, and beautiful villages trashed, muddied, their air rendered unbreathable with toxic particulates. Health problems among villagers are on the rise. The rapid spread of groundwater pollution has imperiled Goa’s water supply. Left unchallenged, the miners will bring about Goa’s demise long before the effects of climate change kick in.
Enabling and profiteering from this destructive effort are Goa’s criminal Chief Minister Digambar Kamat – himself a beneficiary of the scores of new mining leases sanctioned (by him) – and his cronies. As the most venal man ever to be elected to the state’s top political office (that takes some doing given the superlative standards of corruption attained to by Goan politicians) Digambar Kamat‘s rightful place is behind bars. But India is not a nation governed by the rule of law.
These days on the River Mandovi there is a virtual traffic jam of barges pregnant with iron ore. The Chinese are paying top dollar and the mining mafia along with their political bedfellows are raking in the moolah, environment and people be damned.
Although these images make a political statement (fine with me) I shot them because I saw photographic merit in the compositions. The first three were taken from the Mandovi bridge in Panjim soon after sunrise, the last from the ferry in Old Goa on a stormy afternoon.