Thousands protest against Information Technology Park in Goa

December 9th, 2007 - 8:39 pm ICT by admin  

Taleigao (Goa), Dec 9 (ANI): Thousands of residents of Taleigao village in Goa staged a protest demonstration here today against an upcoming Information Technology (IT) Park in the state, claiming the project to be a case of real-estate scam.
The Goa Government acquired about three lakh square meter land for the proposed IT Park, which has been named ‘Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat,’ and the foundation stone was laid by Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi.
The villagers say that the Goa Government allotted only 4 plots out of 18 to those interested in starting the IT industry. The remaining 14 plots were allotted to the real estate developers to construct residential colonies and malls at a cost of Rs. 4,000 per square meter, while the present market price of the plots is Rs. 8,000 per square meter.
Highlighting the issue, Ires Rodrigues, an advocate, said: “The people of Goa are totally opposed to SEZs (Special Economic Zone) and IT Parks. We will not allow any IT Parks and SEZs to come up, unless the government studies them properly. The real thing is that it is a real-estate scam in Goa.”
He added that Goa being a small state cannot be crowded with SEZs and IT Parks. It has to be saved for its people, he said.
About 2000 police personnel were deployed at the IT project site to stop protesters from getting near the site.
Angry villagers torched two vehicles and set ablaze machinery, besides burning effigies of State IT Minister Dayanand Narvekar.
The State Government has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which empowers the District administration to impose restriction on public gathering and can also impose curfew if the situation demands.
Atanacio Babush Monserate, a MLA, said: “Instead of ‘Rajiv Gandhi IT Park’, it should have been ‘Rajiv Gandhi People’s Park’. We’re waiting for the government to respond. We’ve got plenty of time, but we’ll see to it that no work commences on this IT Park.” (ANI)

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