News headlines

by Lenny Barretto
for Daijiworld Media Network - Goa (MB)

Panaji, Apr 13: Heat is really taking the toll in Goa. A recent newspaper report quoting director of meterological department, K V Singh, mentions how the minimum and maximum temparature in Goa is two degrees above normal. Also humidity has risen.

Goa, a tourist state, where people come to beat the heat by jumping into the salty sea water and swim against the waves, may face tough time in terms of tourism, if such a heat wave continues. The North Indian flock-- tourists -- mostly pack their bags and lead Goa way only because of the strong heat wave existing in their region. Scorching sun forces them to take off from their routine and rush towards Goa. But situation in Goa seems to be worsening too.

I am not a science student to diagnose reasons behind increasing heat. We have read about global warming and the heat may be the outcome of that. But for sure, we, Goans, have contributed in our own ways for this increasing heat.

Greenery is vanishing every passing day. Government figures may speak of Goa having nearly 50 per cent its area as forest. But these tall claims have a deep void within them. What greenery we boast about is vanishing. Our forests are being targetted by timber mafia and others.

Take for instance example of Panaji. Has any survey being done to check how and why the greenery around Panaji is disappearing. The real estate boom is all out to eat into our greenery. The hill at Verem next to Panaji, was so much lush green just five years back. But now, a wide glance at the hill will reveal how real estate has managed to rob away our greenery for the sake of constructing houses "overlooking Mandovi river."

The mining industry is eating into the the village forests. Renowned social activist Sunita Narain (known for her anti-soft drink stand which exposed the fact that soft drinks have pesticide in it), during her recent Goa visit was stunned. What she wrote in newspaper Business Standard, is something to read about. She wrote (I quote):

mining in Goa for iron ore was ripping its forests and devastating its people. The fact is that Chinese demand for iron ore has increased its price from $14 per tonne to $60 per tonne. This has spurred a black gold rush—mining companies are bidding for areas that were either closed or not opened because they were unprofitable or unviable.
What Sunita Narain wrote is a fact. There is no mercy on our ecology. Mining, an industry next to tourism, is hitting into our forest lands.

So, what do we do? If we fail to control all these things now then in future, we will have to lose our tourism industry to heat. Why would people come at the place where they will be reluctant to get out of their hotel because of heat. So think and act! 


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