Goa Citizens’ Manifesto 2017

The Goa Citizens' Manifesto 2017 was created following the Goenche Mogi Citizens Meet held on Republic Day (26-Jan-2017). The responses received from candidates are given below.

Responses

  1. Santosh Pai Raitukar, AAP candidate for Margao constituency
  2. Dominic Fernandes, NCP candidate for Panaji constituency
  3. Judith Almeida, Independent candidate for Benaulim constituency

The Goenchi Mati Election Tracker also has the position of parties and candidates on the Goenchi Mati Manifesto and the Goa Citizens' Manifesto.

The Citizens' Manifesto

Goa Citizens Manifesto for Candidates for Assembly Elections 2017 Adopted at the Rally for Goa, on 26 January, 2017, Republic Day Panjim Garden (The names of the subscribing organisations are listed at the end of the manifesto) Introduction The Rally for Goa heard and discussed the issues affecting the voters of Goa hailing from various parts of the State of Goa. A total of 55 organisations attended the rally and so did a large number of citizens. The organisers of the rally –the Goenchi Mati Movement (GMM) – made arrangements for water and chairs. Tables were provided to each of the 55 organisations to display their banners and literature. The organisations deputed competent people to communicate their issues to the members of the public which circulated from table to table. The major issues are listed below for eliciting the stand of the candidates standing for elections. (The candidate is requested to cancel the response [Yes/No] to which he is not in agreement.)

Casinos: The voters of Goa, especially Panjim, have led several demonstrations against casinos. Despite their protests made on behalf of Goan society, the government has simply doubled the number of casinos in the river, leading to steady increase in indebtedness, even dispossession of property of Goan families induced to visit these places, plus degeneration of our society and the Mandovi river environment. Is the candidate committed to cancellation of the licences of all casinos in Goa's waters? Yes/No

Tribal rights under the Forest Rights Act: The tribal communities of Goa have a significant presence in certain talukas of the State, notably Quepem. Goa is one of the few states in the Indian Union which refuses to implement the Forest Rights Act seriously. The tribal voters are also concerned seriously about the disadvantages that tribal populations continue to face in the state of Goa. Is the candidate committed to implementing the Forest Rights Act? Yes/No

Liquor and beer factory at Amdai, Sanguem. The Amdai village community at Sanguem is opposed to the setting up of a liquor factory in their ward because it involves the destruction of more than 1000 coconut trees. The distillery and beer plant will not only damage the environment with effluents, but also claim the scarce water supply of the village community. Is the candidate committed to cancellation of any permissions granted by the various authorities to the erection of the liquor factory at Amdai? Yes/No

Is the candidate committed to re-notifying the coconut as a tree? Yes/No

 

Sexual exploitation: Goa has developed as one of the major destinations for human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. The victims from Goa and different states of India are commercially sexually exploited in massage parlors, hotels, disco clubs, and flats in the state. Groups like ARZ, which work for the rehabilitation of sex workers, demand the appointment of full time police officers at the anti-human trafficking police unit in North and South Goa districts to exclusively work on human trafficking cases; establish especial courts for the trial of traffickers; strict laws to prevent cross massage; sexual harassment committee in all the hotels, massage parlors, clubs; and review the “Prabhat Scheme” for the rehabilitation of sex workers. Is the candidate committed to eliminate this scenario from the face of Goa and work for the rehabilitation of sex workers? Yes/No

Women's rights: There are several organisations working for several years to demand proper treatment of women in the state and to protect their rights in the face of domestic violence and other issues. Is the candidate committed to fight for the overall welfare and rights of women, especially their equal status in Goan society? Yes/No

DefExpo at Betul: The Betul villagers have resisted the imposition of the defence expo in their village jurisdiction. They say that there is no special reason why such an expo should be located in their village. They are opposed to the takeover of huge tracts of lands for the purpose, since there will be no immediate benefits to them and to Goa. The progressive removal of land from village communities is steadily reducing the rights of these communities. Is the candidate committed to cancellation of the Defence Expo at Betul? Yes/No

Competent Hotel at Cansaulim: Cansaulim voters have been fighting for several years against the approvals granted to Competent Automobiles (Suzuki dealer based in Delhi) to put up a five star resort in their village. They have recently moved the NGT and got the environment clearance cancelled. They are firmly convinced that setting up the hotel will create enormous problems of drainage and garbage in the village besides affecting the peace and quiet of the village. Will the candidate support the Cancaulim voters demand to cancel permissions granted by the various authorities to Competent Automobiles for their resort at Cansaulim? Yes/No

Airport at Mopa: There has been considerable opposition to the proposal to erect a new airport at Mopa on economic and environmental grounds. The construction and commissioning of the airport will lead to the permanent closure of the Dabolim airport which was and is the basis of the tourism industry in South Goa. Thus the airport at Mopa will directly affect their right to life and livelihood. Will the candidate support the cancellation of the Mopa airport project? Yes/No

Dredging by Mormugao Port Trust. The voters from the fishing community adjacent to the Mormugao Port Trust have resisted the large scale dredging of the port as this would affect the marine ecology and also their fish resources. They have successfully moved the NGT to stop the work and to get a proper environment clearance. However, the group still remains completely opposed to the dredging operation and are fighting the public hearing. Is the candidate ready to support the fishing community and to have their demand to cancel the dredging upheld? Yes/No

Regional Plan 2021: The Regional Plan 2021 remains in suspension, after being notified in 2012. Organisations are deeply frustrated with the approach of the Goa government to notification and implementation of the Regional Plan 2021. The plan, suspended in 2017, remains suspended in 2017. We will soon be reaching 2021! Is the candidate ready to put pressure on the government to immediately notify the RP 2021? Yes/No

Outline Development Plans of Margao, Panaji, Mapusa and Calangute/Baga: The government has brought several villages hitherto under the RP 2021 within the jurisdiction of the PDAs. Those controlling the PDAs have rushed to draw up Outline Development Plans which allow maximum development of these areas. The exercise has become a major source of corruption and is doing irreversible damage to Goa's land use. Is the candidate ready to revert the recently added village/RP 2021 areas back to the RP 2021? Yes/No

Will he/she vote to cancel the recently approve ODPs? Yes/No Will he/she vote to disband PDAs and ODP? Yes/No

 

Amendments to Agricultural Tenancy Act: The farming community is totally opposed to the amendments recently brought to the Agricultural Tenancy Act which forces them to protect their tenancy rights not through the Mamlatdar but through the Civil Courts. They are convinced that these amendments have been passed in order to deprive them of their tenancy rights in favour of landlords. Already due to public resentment, the “sunset clause” has been deleted from the amendments. The tenants are seeking cancellation of the jurisdiction of the civil courts and reverting of the matters back to the Mamlatdars. Is the candidate ready to amend the Tenancy Act and delete the offending amendments? Yes/No

Monsoon ban on fishing: The traditional fishing community has been fighting for years for a longer period of the monsoon ban on fishing and for the rights of traditionally fisher folk to fish exclusively in the nearby shore line areas and rivers. These problems remain unresolved despite the fact that fish remains one of the most essential elements of Goan life. Will the candidate take up these issues and ensure that the traditional Goan fisherfolk get back their rights to fish without competition in their demarcated waters? Yes/No Will the candidate vote for an extension of the monsoon ban on fishing? Yes/No

Justice for Fr. Bismark Movement: Citizens groups are not convinced that Fr. Bismark, the legendary singer and activist, died by accidental drowning. The movement alleges that he was murdered by the forces which did not like his activities in the area. The movement has moved the High Court and has persuaded the High Court to listen to their allegations about the completely lackadaisical approach by the police and the authorities to the death of the revolutionary priest. Will the candidate support the movement's demand for an impartial and fresh probe into the death of Fr Bismark? Yes/No

Mining Bypass at Sanvordem. The people of Sanvordam have taken a firm decision not to permit mining trucks on the roads in their settlements. Too many people have been killed by the mining trucks and the dust pollution is uncontrolled. They have blocked movement of such trucks successfully and are insisting that movement of mineral ore should only be done through a bypass. They will not allow any other movements till the bye-pass is created. Is the candidate ready to support the demand of the voters of Sanvordem against the movement of trucks through their settlement? Will he/she work to ensure construction of a bypass? Yes/No

Investment Promotion Board: The Investment Promotion Board set up by the Goa government under the Goa Investment Promotion Act is a blot on the face of a planned Goa. The Board is being misused by the government to bypass the Regional Plan and to allow developments which are contrary to the Regional Plan. Projects are being allowed in ecologically sensitive areas, after being denied permission by the statutory authorities. Is the candidate ready to demand the cancellation of the Investment Promotion Board and reversal of the decisions taken by it in the past two years? Yes/No

Leading Hotels Golf Course Resort at Tiracol: The St Anthony's Mundkar and Tenants Association was formed in 2011 to resist the setting up of the Leading Hotel's golf resort on their lands. The association has moved the High Court and got a stay of the project. If the project is allowed, 12.18 lakhs sq.mt out of 13.84 lakhs sq.mt of the village would be removed from the village and become an exclusive property of Leading Hotels. Tiracol would therefore become the first village which would not have agricultural lands. All these lands are tenanted lands and most of them fraudulently acquired by the hotel project. Is the candidate ready to support the voters of Tiracol to have the golf course irrevocably cancelled and all persons involved in the illegal diversion of tenanted lands to be appropriately punished? Yes/No

The Goenchi Mati Movement's proposals: The Goenchi Mati campaign is a movement set up by the Goa Foundation and other like-minded groups to demand that the government recover Rs.1,44,000 crores of mining money that has been illegally given by the Goa Government to the mining companies. The movement asserts that this money belongs to the Goan public. It should be put into the Goenchi Mati Permanent Fund which should be left untouched for future generations of Goans. However the surplus interest from the funds must be distributed equally among all persons who are residing in the state of Goa as they are the real owners of the iron ore. The Supreme Court has already directed the Goa government to set up the Fund and put 10% of all mining revenues into it. Does the candidate support the Goenchi Mati Movement Manifesto? Yes/No

Save the Western Ghats. Several organisations including the Peaceful Society, Kundai, and the Goa Foundation, Mapusa, Nirmal Vishwa, Ponda have worked for more than 25 years to protect the Western Ghats, especially its rich biodiversity and the wildlife sanctuaries. The Ghats are the water tower of Goa. The movements have fought to block developments in these ecologically sensitive areas. Is the candidate ready to work to ensure the absolute protection of the Western Ghats ecosystem for the sake of the future citizens of this state? Yes/No

Peace and harmony between Goa's religious communities: There have been several welcome initiatives to bring together all the various communities (Hindus, Muslims and Christians) in Goa on a common platform to fight social issues together. Is the candidate committed to ensuring that relations between the various religious communities are not affected in any negative manner? Yes/No

Shipyards at Chicalim. The Chicalim Villagers Action Committee (CVAC) has been fighting for the protection of their rivers which are a source of the windowpane oyster, an endangered species. They have successfully halted several shipyards including Bharati Shipyard and are now fighting another illegal shipyard by the name of Abhishek Engineers. Is the candidate ready to support the demand of the CVAC against the continuance of the shipyard of Abhishek Engineers? Yes/No

Enabling the disabled people in Goa. Though the WHO figures show 10% of the world's population as disabled in some form or another, the Goa government claims the disability in the state is just 2.3%. As a result, none of the official policies of the Goa government dealing with tourism, transport, education or any other department include the needs and rights of disabled persons or assume they can be a productive part of society. We need vacancies in government to be filled up by disabled people. We need more areas in cities that facilitate movement of disabled persons. Is the candidate aware of the rights of disabled people in Goa? Will he/she bring programmes to enable this segment of the population to live, work and move with dignity? Yes Mega Housing at Chimbel and several other villagers: Villages in different parts of Goa continue to be subjected to large-scale mega housing projects that are designed mostly for speculators and real estate dealers. The continuance of such projects is seriously affecting the village communities, leading to imbalances in populations, negative environmental impacts in terms of sewage and garbage dumping, destruction of natural vegetation and water scarcity. Is the candidate clear that mega housing projects are destroying Goa's villages and affecting Goa's village comunities? Will he vote against them? Yes/No

Goa-based civil society organisations that participated in the Rally for Goa and supported the action of presenting a list of these issues to aspiring election candidates: Aam Aadmi Aurat Against Gambling Aami Fondekar (Ponda) Adivasi Sanghatna Quepem Amdai Villagers Committee Anyay Rahit Zindagi Bailancho Saad Benaulim Residents and Consumer Forum Betqui Candola Samvardhan Samiti Cansaulim Villagers Action Committee and Cansaulim Arossim Cuelim Civic Consumer Forum Caurem Villagers Committee Cavelossim Villagers Forum Chhatrapati Sahu Maharaj Pratishtan Chicalim Villagers Action Committee Children's Rights Goa Chimbel Monch Circle Wallahs Colamb Villagers Committee Colva Civic and Consumer Forum Disability Rights in Goa (DRAG) Eco treks Environment, Culture and Heritage Organization Goa Federation of Rainbow Warriors Fisherfolk against MPT Dredging Goa Heritage Action Group Goa Bachao Abhiyan Goa ForGiving Goa Movement for Special Status Goans for Dabolim Airport Goans for Goa Goenchi Mati Movement Goencho Ramponkarancho Ekvott Gomantak Bhandari Samaj Indigenous Goans Front Live Happy Justice for Fr. Bismarque Movement MARG Mission Bypass, Sanvordem Nirmal Vishwa Nisarga Peaceful Society Peace and Humanity Forum Pilerne Citizens Forum Quelossim Villagers Committee Ribander Chimbel Rokhan Somiti Save Tiracol Save Western Ghats St Anthony’s Tenants and Mundkar Association Swades The Goa Foundation United for Mother Goa United Goans Foundation Video Volunteers

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