Govt’s intention was never to help Niz Goenkars with Bhumiputra Bill

The Government’s change of heart has nothing to do with people’s feelings, but they have sensed the people’s pulse. They know with the elections just around the corner, they cannot take such a risk of allowing such a Bill which would further annoy the Niz Goenkars.
The Chief Minister, Dr Pramod Sawant, had invited public suggestions on the Bill, and almost all the suggestions wanted the Bill to be scrapped or withdrawn.
The Chief Minister’s decision to withdraw the name Bhumiputra was also not acceptable as it favoured migrant and illegal occupants of their dwellings.
SURAJ NANDREKAR
Editor, Goemkarponn

 

Just ahead of the 2-day Assembly session called by the Governor, the Government has announced that the Bhumiputra Bill will be allowed to lapse, and another Bill will be tabled in the House post-elections.
The Government’s decision is welcome as it was against Niz Goenkar’s. Yes, the Bill would have helped the locals like the Sattari or Mayem locals, striving for land ownership rights for decades but would have benefitted the migrants more.
The Government’s change of heart has nothing to do with people’s feelings, but they have sensed the people’s pulse. They know with the elections just around the corner, they cannot take such a risk of allowing such a Bill which would further annoy the Niz Goenkars.
The Chief Minister, Dr Pramod Sawant, had invited public suggestions on the Bill, and almost all the suggestions wanted the Bill to be scrapped or withdrawn.
The Chief Minister’s decision to withdraw the name Bhumiputra was also not acceptable as it favoured migrant and illegal occupants of their dwellings.
This Bill seems to be more to please the migrant vote bank ahead of elections rather than the actual “bhumiputra’s.”
Thousands of illegal dwellings exist in every constituency, and every politician wants to please them ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls.
Be it Moti Dongor, Khandepar in Margao, Indira Nagar in Chimbel, Zuarinagar in Sancoale and Dabolim, Baina, Camrabhat in Taleigao, Porvorim slums, Mapusa slums, Curchorem, Quepem, Baina, Vasco – name every constituency and there is one such slum where the migrants have now made their homes for more than 30 years.
Didi Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant and the Government want to legalise all these dwellings? According to the Bill, most of these slums were to be eligible for regularisation.
The Bill empowered the Bhumiputra Adhikarini (the committee) to declare a “Bhumiputra” to be the dwelling unit owner-occupied by him upon payment of an amount equivalent to the value of land calculated at the market rate and such other amounts as specified in section 6 to the Government. The land can be Government or private.
If the land is private, the amount received above would be transferred to the private party.
Bhumiputra shall not be evicted from the dwelling unit occupied by him, and the dwelling unit shall not be demolished during the pendency of any proceedings under this Act, save by the direction of the competent court of law, the Bill said.
The Chief Minister and the BJP’s claim of helping the people who do not have ownership rights falls flat due to 30 years of residence.
There are thousands of people who have been residing in slums on communidade or government land for more than 30 years. Instead of evicting them, the Government, through this Bill, wanted to regularise them.
The only hitch in the Bill was the 30-year eligibility criterion, which should have been removed, and the issue would have been sorted.
The Government should have made the eligibility as born by birth in Goa simple, which would have helped the genuine Goans from Sattari and Mayem and elsewhere.
However, the Government had something else in mind, maybe a bigger plot ahead of elections, which could not materialise.
Now that the Government could not have its way, they want Bill to lapse so that Niz Goenkars do not benefit.

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