Goa merges fully with India.
Yesterday I briefly attended a symposium in Panjim on the “Smart City” initiative. It was like walking into a parallel universe. The main thing I learnt was that Indians have gotten better at buzzwords and PowerPoint.
“Smart Cities” is the conceit du jour of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Not long ago, Panjim was an exquisite town with its distinct visual signature, cultural identity and a quality of life not found anywhere else in India. But then India arrived in Goa. Today Panjim is on the fast track to sewer-hood. No different from any other filthy, unpleasant urban Indian space.
You see, I am not supposed to commit crimes of noticing things or think such impure thoughts much less record them, in the interest of not offending the ‘feelings’ of my superpatriotic Indian friends.
A few samplers from within a stone’s throw of the “Smart City” dog & pony show. We’ll certainly get our ‘smart’ chops even if it means we have to stew in garbage the rest of our life.
I think it influence our all aco system, and one of the major thing is that we have to initate towards the swachh bharat, so that our smart cities will be possible soon, like online commmunity for localcircles.com https://www.localcircles.com/a/press/page/smartcities
IMO, municipalities in India can do no better than to emulate Singapore.
Agreed that the “Smart City” is likely addressing the wrong problem. But sorry to say that even if Panjim was an isolated island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, its filthification would likely have happened, for all kinds of reasons, from the pressure of growing population to the invention and use of plastics, to “Not in my backyard” (landfill for waste), to civic incompetence in coming up with other solutions (e.g., a viable non-polluting recycle + incinerator program).
The chief reason Panjim – Goa, too – was a pleasant space was that there were so few of us (relatively speaking, compared to the rest of India). Post 2000, that changed dramatically. A house with a carrying capacity for 5 can manage with 7 or 10, maybe even 20 with a lot of adjustment, but when you get to 200 people there are dire consequences. No amount of retrofitting will solve the problem.
Goa did not negotiate any protections in 1961 (Liberation) as regards land or non-Goans settling here. Goa does not have even other land protections that a state like Himachal has. States like Maharashtra and Karnataka have a provision where agricultural land cannot be sold except to farmers. No such regulation in Goa (and there is no incentive now for politicians to pass anything of the sort when they can make mountains of money approving land conversions).
Around 2000, the floodgates were thrown open and construction frenzy ensued. Moneyed folks from Bombay and Delhi all wanted a piece of Goa and Goan politicians realized quickly the loot that was theirs for the taking.
Even the current defense minister Manohar Parrikar, who postures as Mr Clean, is as soiled as they come. To cut a long story short, rich Indians began buying up real estate, the ruling class flouted all laws to enable rampant construction, and migrant labour from all over India streamed in to service the construction. Once they stream in they don’t stream out. Instead, they summon their extended families (to many from the most impoverished villages, Goa must seem like Dubai). End result: Goa severely degraded in every respect.
The Smart City is another juicy pot of money that will go around and have
little to show for. You cannot out-train a bad diet to lose weight.
We also have this problem where our resources (taxes, mineral wealth, etc) are being looted by India to feed and subsidize her ever-growing population (hundreds of millions of desperately poor in her Hind heartland).
The little that remains (or returned as Goa’s share of taxes) is either looted by the politicians and their ilk or is not sufficient to provide 21st century infrastructure for the population (Goan+non-Goan+Tourists) of the state.
The state’s share in the central taxes will only reduce as India’s population reaches its peak and Goa’s land and mineral resources deplete. Then what next for the Goan people? People of Catalan have good political leaders. I envy them.
I would not be surprised in the future (after our time) if Goa loses its statehood and is clubbed into a new state comprising of parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra, as the population of these regions increase and the Goan identity is gradually eroded by emigration (Goans) and immigration (Indians).
That’s not garbage. It is just graffiti in 3D.