‘Goa real estate boom fuelled by black money’

July 20th, 2011 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, July 20 (IANS) Goa’s real estate boom is not driven by “people who love the land”, but by speculative investment of black money in the state, environmentalist Madhav Gadgil said Wednesday.

Speaking at the concluding session of a workshop on environment here, Gadgil, the man behind India’s “People Biodiversity Register”, also said that a huge influx of black money in Goa in form of real estate investments was severely crunching land resources in one of India’s smallest states.

This did not bode well for Goa’s future, he said.

“The land pressure in Goa is because of speculative investment of black money-driven real estate projects. It is happening all over India too,” Gadgil said.

Noting that Goa is a “phenomenally beautiful state”, he said that unfortunately, it was not “people who love the land” who were looking at buying land here.

“Most of the real estate investments in Goa are in the form of second homes. Goa needs to do something about this,” he said.

Even as real estate prices hit the roof here, mega housing projects, cropping up across the countryside, have faced stiff resistance in Goa from civil society groups who have objected to the real estate lobby converting Goa purely into a market for investment oriented second homes.

Public resentment towards real estate intensive projects had also forced the Goa government to cancel seven special economic zone (SEZ) projects in 2008, several of which were promoted by real estate companies.

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