Parrikar’s fears of 2013 are real today
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Parrikar’s fears of 2013 are real today

By Heraldgoa calender  28-Jul-2019

Parrikar’s fears of 2013 are real today

The issue of influx of migrants was hotly debated in the Goa Legislative Assembly after a train-load of migrants landed at Thivim Railway station, resulting in Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant calling for an inquiry through Revenue Department officials. While the issue is being debated now, six years ago former chief minister Manohar Parrikar had expected migrants to overtake the local population by 2021, and had warned the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre of this.
Parrikar had led an all-party delegation that met Singh in Delhi in 2013. The delegation submitted a memorandum to the then prime minister, underlining the gradual influx of migrants who are settling down in the coastal State, and rued that the cosmopolitan character of the State has been grossly misunderstood. “Goa is virtually standing on the brink of ‘ethnic dilution’ as unrestricted migration from other States is threatening to reduce the native population to an ‘alienated microscopic minority’ by 2021,” the memorandum pointed out. The copy of the memorandum which was made available to media said that unrestricted migration and whole-scale transfer of land is beginning to submerge the unique Goan identity.
“Though we have been noticing this trend in the last decade or so, it has now assumed menacing proportions. The apprehension is that by 2021 the migrant population will outnumber local Goans,” the memorandum said. The Parrikar-led delegation placed before Singh the demand for special status empowering the local government to enact laws restricting sale of land to non-Goans. “The apprehension is that Goans will become an alienated microscopic minority within their own State,” states the petition that has taken the stock of the migration trend right from the liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule in 1961.
Only 51 per cent people now speak the official Konkani language whereas the collective proportion of Konkani and Marathi-speaking people is two-thirds of the total population, which means one third of the population is of migrant settlers, the State policy-makers said quoting the latest Census data.
“The data confirms that migration is diluting the ethnic character of Goa. In the first decade after liberation, the growth of population was 34.77 per cent. This trend of migration is contributing to population growth even today. The latest growth of population for the last decade is 8.17 per cent,” according to the memorandum, which is silent on the States the migrants belong to.
The delegation is also wary about Goa being branded as a ‘retirement destination and a holiday home for people from the rest of the country and the world’. “This has led to a huge boom in construction activities in the State in the last ten years or so. This is borne out by the 2011 census data which shows that there are 5,76,582 census houses. Out of this, 1,25,503 census houses are vacant; all probably belonging to migrants who treat this as a second home... This is 21.8 per cent of the total number of houses,” the memorandum added. 

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