Baina demolition is abuse of power, no basic human decency: Church

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 01 October 2015 15:58 IST

Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), the social organ of Goa’s Church, has termed demolition of around 200 ‘homes’ of poor abuse and indiscriminate use of State power and machinery, contempt for the ‘fundamental right to life’ and utter disrespect for human dignity when it comes to the poor and migrants in the State of Goa.

The eviction of the helpless and poor reveals a deep prejudice and material discrimination against impoverished citizens and the homeless in this State, states Fr Savio Fernandes, executive secretary of CSJP.

The Church has also demanded that the evicted poor families, who have been living at Baina for three decades, be provided rightful alternative housing including food, health facilities, education and means of subsistence.

It has also reminded the BJP government about its duty to inform affected people well in advance, to agree with them on a plan for rehousing with secure tenure and provide adequate compensation as well as reparations in the case of forced evictions.

The Council has alleged that the government land  has been victimised to settle political scores and open up land for vested commercial interests.

“It is a matter of shame that Goa, which prides itself of being a cultured State in the country and excelling on development parameters, does not even possess the basic human decency and compassion when dealing with the poor and migrants,” said Fr Fernandes.

The CSJP has also made public findings of the fact-finding visit to Baina after demolition:

- Most of the families whose houses have been demolished were residing in this locality for over 30 years

- In some cases, one of the spouse in the family was Goan which again contradicts the elitist public perception that it was a purely migrant settlement.

- They were provided with basic amenities of water and electricity by the State Government.

- The families were prevented from getting sufficient time to exhaust all legal options to safeguard their rights

- No proposals of rehousing options and such other rightful amenities were offered to the affected citizens.

- Women, elderly citizens and children were the worst victims of such inhuman action of the Government.

- Women are bread winners in many families, with alcoholic husbands, elderly and differently abled children to support.

- Many of the children have not been to school for the last couple of days as their school uniforms, shoes and books have been buried in the debris.

- With a monthly one-room rental of minimum Rs 6000 and security deposit of Rs 30,000, It’s next to impossible to find affordable shelter.

-This has forced them into staying in the open at the demolition site without food and clothing thus exposing the women and children to health and security risks.

- While there are government shelters constructed for alternative housing to those evicted which remain unoccupied in the city, the present families have been denied even a temporary roof over their head. 

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Previous Comments

Why not church provide them place and some doles from the donation received by them.

Also give them shelter in temporary hutments right outside church in the Garden area which majority churches have.

Religious body's should not interfere in government and judicial decisions.

Be involved in religious activities.

- micky, panjim | 04 th October 2015 21:13

 

There is a long list of sequence of legal events that led to the demolition of ' illegal ' Structures.The CSJP should review these before making such brash statements.

Yes we do feel bad for the displaced people, but what is illegal is ILLEGAL....FULL STOP.....If there is a concern about the displaced poeple the CSJP should donate some of their land or contribute towards legally rehabilitating them....

- ir.thewayahead@gmail.com, goa | 02 nd October 2015 06:43

 

Stop interfering in politics and if you guys are so much worried about human rights then first see what has Vatican done for years. If these people can build something illegal so do a Govt. has a legal right to demolish. Jai Hind.

- Vinayak, Margao | 02 nd October 2015 02:33

 

Church should provide them some temporary accommodation and food in their big palace at Altinho. May be they can use the fleet of Churches' fleet of Mercedes to ferry them.

It is easy to preach sitting up there in the Ivory tower but difficult to put something in practice.

- Rocky, UAE | 01 st October 2015 21:48

 

Why there is no concern when the niz Goenkars are affected?

My place was also demolished with bulldozer and case filed in High court.

Why should this shanties be not razed? Rules should apply to all.

When they hav ebuilt illegally, they should expect this.

come on, start protecting the niz Goenkars

- Goenkar, Goa | 01 st October 2015 18:13

 

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