Sunday 04 December 2022

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

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Why I object to Parrikar's Samadhi at Miramar beach


In India, there is usually a perception that an ideal tribute to any mass leader is only by building grandiose memorials in their names. That could be even at the expense of destroying an eco-sensitive zone. Where’s the people’s opinion here? My heart says Parrikar would have objected to the plans of his samadhi at Miramar beach. Here’s why.


My first up-close memory of late CM Manohar Parrikar was in 2004, it was the first time when Goa was supposed to host 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The occasion was grand and he was personally supervising all the arrangements. That even involved the fitting of the tiles outside the old GMC building, which is now the office of the event. Such was he!

He was known as Goa’s Mr Clean Chief Minister. Bhai- for many.


Today, people may have a different view about him and everyone is entitled to have their individual opinion on him. But if I can vouch for him on anything, it would be on the fact that he had a vision for Goa that many office-bearers today lack. During his last few days, he had left a mark on our minds- many criticised him for not stepping down despite being extremely ill. Perhaps he knew, if he left the battlefield the political scenario will be out of his hands to handle. 


“Was Manohar Parrikar a person who would have been okay with taking away a patch of Miramar beach from the public for building his memorial?” 

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant just a few days ago announced a 10-crore worth memorial in the name of late Manohar Parrikar. A concrete structure will be built adjacent to Bhau Saheb Bandodkar’s Samadhi. The commencement of the project will be from December 13th- marking the birth anniversary of the late leader. 


Has the government taken this decision to pacify the sentiments by completely disobeying the law? Miramar beach as we know comes under Coastal Regulation Zone- this means the development of any sorts- commercial or private within the 50- metre radius of the shore violates the CRZ rule. 


Parrikar’s memorial will be built adjacent to Bandodkar Samadhi, the structure that was built over 45 years ago- way before CRZ act came into the effect. Over the years a lot has changed on the coastlines of Goa. We have been witnessing rampant exploitation and overexposure to our beaches. I fear that if the Government uses our beaches to build memorials and other structures, this will also pave way for builders' lobby already preying our coastline and forest covers. After all, where does it all stop? 

The recent floods in Goa were the alarm bells for us but it looks like the state government has paid very little attention to changing realities of the state. I mean, can we allow Goa to be the next Kerala? This year for us was the trailer that if we don’t wake up soon, we can only pray for times to come. 


Recently I took a poll on social media asking the social media users whether they were in the favour of another Samadhi on Miramar beach- almost 99% object. Instead an alternative of a cancer hospital was the most preferred choice. Remember we lost our former Chief Minister to pancreatic cancer. He battled the illness till his last breath. He had to be rushed to the United States for the treatment, while back home there many of our fellow Goans who remain devoid of such an expensive treatment simply because they cannot afford. Can the current Chief Minister rethink on this model of paying tributes instead? 


Point here is, if we lose the beauty of Goa to such concrete structures, we will lose the essence of our state. As I am writing this, there are two major developments. The Supreme Court has reprimanded the state government against cutting any more trees from the remaining 62% of Goa's forest cover. And on the other hand, an NGO Geonchea Raponkarancho Ekvott, representing traditional fisher-folk community, has taken to streets protesting against state government’s move to privatise Miramar beach under blue flag certification. And the last time I read, locals of Kesarval were still fighting to protect the waterfall from a hotelier trying to construct a big project risking the natural beauty. The current scenario is frightening. Can we for once think beyond individuals and party-lines to protect our state?  

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

I completely agree with Deepali Desai.we need Cancer hospital, not Mr. Parrikar Samadhi, he wouldn't have agreed for such waste of taxpayers money. Which way a Samadhi on Miramar beach would help His Nd Goan people? Dear CM .Sir pl rethink, and act deligently.

SOLOMON Francis |

A very well thought article. As tribute A cancer hospital will b a right advice.

Prakash |

I have the same views I strongly object to the money 10 cr. Could be used to upgrade the cancer facility in GMC, getting a PETSCAN equipment. Can we do something before it's too late? Aren't they violating CRZ? Please contact email me

Gabriel Pereira |

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Deepali Desai

Formerly a Television Journalist with close to a decade long experience in covering news. She has worked with India's top news channels such as Times Now, NDTV & NewsX. Recently, she had a stint in Goa365 as a Desk Head. She breathes politics and likes to keep her eyes on social media trends. Deepali is from Ribandar, Goa, presently working in North India for Women’s Rights Organisation.


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