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VOA标准英语2008年-India's Goa Inspires Opponents to Land Deals

时间:2008-01-25 05:45来源:互联网 提供网友:aaaa   字体: [ ]
By Steve Herman
India Goa Land
23 January 2008

The tiny coastal1 state of Goa has become the first state in India to rescind2 the creation of special economic zones - putting it into conflict with the central government and powerful developers across the country. Environmentalists and other opponents argue the zones only enrich land speculators and are of dubious3 economic value to the public. VOA's Steve Herman has more from Goa.

On Vagator beach, below the 17th-Century Chapora Fort, the waves of the Arabian Sea gently wash ashore4.

While it may seem calm at sea, Goa is being buffeted5 by a tempest on land.

A public backlash against rampant6 land speculation7, especially along the much-prized coast, caused the Goa state government to take a stunning8, unprecedented9 action. It has scrapped10 several proposed special economic zones but the controversy11, and political conflict, continues.

The struggle for domination of India's smallest state goes back to ancient times. But some modern day Goans believe that at no time have the stakes been so high, or the region's fragile ecology so threatened.

Native Goan and architect Dean D'Cruz is a member of the task force advising the state government on land policies.

"We're rated nine on the ecological12 scale, which is just a little behind the Brazilian rain forest. There is a realization13 that we need to protect this heritage. If we lose it, we've lost the basic charm of Goa," said Dean D'Cruz.

It is the sliver14 of Goa's coastal belt that is under most pressure. Goans grumble15 that land-owners are being seduced16 by outsiders, from wealthy Indians to Russian organized crime elements, waving huge wads of rupees and rubles.

The state and central government are playing the land game as well, using their powers to grab property and selling it off below market value to corporate17 entities18.

Political science lecturer Cajetan Raposo at St. Xavier's College says that since Goa became part of India in 1961, politics and property have become inseparable here.

"In the present Goa legislative19 assembly there are at least 15 of them, including the chief minister, who is in the real estate business. The land is directly connected politically," he said.

So when the state government of Goa stopped some developments outright20, the political effects were dramatic.

Some top government officials in New Delhi reacted with disbelief, asserting a state cannot make such a unilateral decision after projects have received central approval.

This propelled Goa's seven-month old government, which is backed by the ruling Congress Party, into crisis. Chief minister Digambar Kamat rushed to the capital, reportedly warning that if the land projects were not nullified, he would be forced to resign. That would be a setback21 for a Congress Party already worried about recent defeats.

Businessman Pravin Sabnis of the Save Goa Movement is skeptical22 that close ties between property and politics will be severed23, whatever happens to the state government.

"Right now there is a lot of political upheaval," he said. "If the present government stays, it will be a deal, some deal with land sharks. And if it falls, also it will be a deal with the land sharks. So either way it's a matter of concern."

Labeled special economic zones or information technology habitats, such land-hungry projects are exempt24 from normal zoning and regulatory scrutiny25.

Proponents26 of these schemes say they will diversify27 Goa's economy, long dependent on tourism and mining. The land projects, they say, will attract investors28, promote exports of local goods and create employment opportunities. Opponents say the tax-free zones will only further damage the environment and most of the jobs will go to outsiders.

Architect D'Cruz warns Goan patience is wearing thin.

"They're just anti-bad development where it's not planned and it doesn't really benefit Goa as a place which has got a very high ecological value," said D'Cruz.

It is seen as remarkable29 that protests by Goan villagers alone have halted, without violence, several major projects in the state. All too often, in the rest of India, such confrontations30 result in bloodshed.

What occurred in Goa, with a population of less than 1.5 million, in a country of more than one billion people, has larger ramifications31. Across India, developers striving to satisfy the industrial needs of a booming economy are clashing with traditional land stakeholders.

Urban planner Edgar Ribiero, an adviser32 to the state government on land use, says he is being peppered with questions from other parts of the country. People want to know how Goa has repelled33 a seemingly invincible34 force.

"'How are you all fighting back? How, after approvals have been given, are you in a position to say no?' I said, 'we're not saying it on our own. We're getting the strength of the people to say it'. Other states are saying 'show us the way,'" he said.

The principal of St. Xavier's College, Newman Fernandes, warns that his fellow Goans will not remain passive if other major land projects still on the drawing board are pushed forward.

"Democracy in any country can be successful only if people are alert. We have not been alert in the past. We admit that. But [now] it is just people being motivated in order to fight, in order to be alert and in order to even risk their lives for the values that they cherish," said Fernandes.

It took Goans four centuries to successfully rebel against frequently brutal35 Portuguese36 rule. The struggle today over who has the right to develop the land, and how, is not over yet. But the example from Goa shows that the public can demand a greater say over the fate of their land.


1 coastal WWiyh     
  • The ocean waves are slowly eating away the coastal rocks.大海的波浪慢慢地侵蚀着岸边的岩石。
  • This country will fortify the coastal areas.该国将加强沿海地区的防御。
2 rescind SCzyX     
  • They accepted his advice and rescinded the original plan.他们听从了他的劝告,撤销了原计划。
  • Trade Union leaders have demanded the government rescind the price rise.工会领导已经要求政府阻止价格上涨。
3 dubious Akqz1     
  • What he said yesterday was dubious.他昨天说的话很含糊。
  • He uses some dubious shifts to get money.他用一些可疑的手段去赚钱。
4 ashore tNQyT     
  • The children got ashore before the tide came in.涨潮前,孩子们就上岸了。
  • He laid hold of the rope and pulled the boat ashore.他抓住绳子拉船靠岸。
5 buffeted 2484040e69c5816c25c65e8310465688     
反复敲打( buffet的过去式和过去分词 ); 连续猛击; 打来打去; 推来搡去
  • to be buffeted by the wind 被风吹得左右摇摆
  • We were buffeted by the wind and the rain. 我们遭到风雨的袭击。
6 rampant LAuzm     
  • Sickness was rampant in the area.该地区疾病蔓延。
  • You cannot allow children to rampant through the museum.你不能任由小孩子在博物馆里乱跑。
7 speculation 9vGwe     
  • Her mind is occupied with speculation.她的头脑忙于思考。
  • There is widespread speculation that he is going to resign.人们普遍推测他要辞职。
8 stunning NhGzDh     
  • His plays are distinguished only by their stunning mediocrity.他的戏剧与众不同之处就是平凡得出奇。
  • The finished effect was absolutely stunning.完工后的效果非常美。
9 unprecedented 7gSyJ     
  • The air crash caused an unprecedented number of deaths.这次空难的死亡人数是空前的。
  • A flood of this sort is really unprecedented.这样大的洪水真是十年九不遇。
10 scrapped c056f581043fe275b02d9e1269f11d62     
废弃(scrap的过去式与过去分词); 打架
  • This machine is so old that it will soon have to be scrapped. 这架机器太旧,快报废了。
  • It had been thought that passport controls would be scrapped. 人们曾认为会放开护照管制。
11 controversy 6Z9y0     
  • That is a fact beyond controversy.那是一个无可争论的事实。
  • We ran the risk of becoming the butt of every controversy.我们要冒使自己在所有的纷争中都成为众矢之的的风险。
12 ecological IrRxX     
  • The region has been declared an ecological disaster zone.这个地区已经宣布为生态灾难区。
  • Each animal has its ecological niche.每种动物都有自己的生态位.
13 realization nTwxS     
  • We shall gladly lend every effort in our power toward its realization.我们将乐意为它的实现而竭尽全力。
  • He came to the realization that he would never make a good teacher.他逐渐认识到自己永远不会成为好老师。
14 sliver sxFwA     
  • There was only one sliver of light in the darkness.黑暗中只有一点零星的光亮。
  • Then,one night,Monica saw a thin sliver of the moon reappear.之后的一天晚上,莫尼卡看到了一个月牙。
15 grumble 6emzH     
  • I don't want to hear another grumble from you.我不愿再听到你的抱怨。
  • He could do nothing but grumble over the situation.他除了埋怨局势之外别无他法。
16 seduced 559ac8e161447c7597bf961e7b14c15f     
诱奸( seduce的过去式和过去分词 ); 勾引; 诱使堕落; 使入迷
  • The promise of huge profits seduced him into parting with his money. 高额利润的许诺诱使他把钱出了手。
  • His doctrines have seduced many into error. 他的学说把许多人诱入歧途。
17 corporate 7olzl     
  • This is our corporate responsibility.这是我们共同的责任。
  • His corporate's life will be as short as a rabbit's tail.他的公司的寿命是兔子尾巴长不了。
18 entities 07214c6750d983a32e0a33da225c4efd     
实体对像; 实体,独立存在体,实际存在物( entity的名词复数 )
  • Our newspaper and our printing business form separate corporate entities. 我们的报纸和印刷业形成相对独立的企业实体。
  • The North American continent is made up of three great structural entities. 北美大陆是由三个构造单元组成的。
19 legislative K9hzG     
  • Congress is the legislative branch of the U.S. government.国会是美国政府的立法部门。
  • Today's hearing was just the first step in the legislative process.今天的听证会只是展开立法程序的第一步。
20 outright Qj7yY     
  • If you have a complaint you should tell me outright.如果你有不满意的事,你应该直率地对我说。
  • You should persuade her to marry you outright.你应该彻底劝服她嫁给你。
21 setback XzuwD     
  • Since that time there has never been any setback in his career.从那时起他在事业上一直没有遇到周折。
  • She views every minor setback as a disaster.她把每个较小的挫折都看成重大灾难。
22 skeptical MxHwn     
  • Others here are more skeptical about the chances for justice being done.这里的其他人更为怀疑正义能否得到伸张。
  • Her look was skeptical and resigned.她的表情是将信将疑而又无可奈何。
23 severed 832a75b146a8d9eacac9030fd16c0222     
v.切断,断绝( sever的过去式和过去分词 );断,裂
  • The doctor said I'd severed a vessel in my leg. 医生说我割断了腿上的一根血管。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We have severed diplomatic relations with that country. 我们与那个国家断绝了外交关系。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 exempt wmgxo     
  • These goods are exempt from customs duties.这些货物免征关税。
  • He is exempt from punishment about this thing.关于此事对他已免于处分。
25 scrutiny ZDgz6     
  • His work looks all right,but it will not bear scrutiny.他的工作似乎很好,但是经不起仔细检查。
  • Few wives in their forties can weather such a scrutiny.很少年过四十的妻子经得起这么仔细的观察。
26 proponents 984ded1baa85fedd6467626f41d14aff     
n.(某事业、理论等的)支持者,拥护者( proponent的名词复数 )
  • Reviewing courts were among the most active proponents of hybrid rulemaking procedures. 复审法院是最积极的混合型规则制定程序的建议者。 来自英汉非文学 - 行政法
  • Proponents of such opinions were arrested as 'traitors. ' 提倡这种主张的人马上作为“卖国贼”逮捕起来。 来自辞典例句
27 diversify m8gyt     
  • Our company is trying to diversify.我们公司正力图往多样化方面发展。
  • Hills and woods diversify the landscape.山陵和树木点缀景色。
28 investors dffc64354445b947454450e472276b99     
n.投资者,出资者( investor的名词复数 )
  • a con man who bilked investors out of millions of dollars 诈取投资者几百万元的骗子
  • a cash bonanza for investors 投资者的赚钱机会
29 remarkable 8Vbx6     
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
30 confrontations c51194060d6a4df61a641d2290c573ad     
n.对抗,对抗的事物( confrontation的名词复数 )
  • At times, this potential has escalated into actual confrontations. 有时,这一矛盾升级为实际的对抗。 来自英汉非文学 - 行政法
  • These confrontations and uncertainties were bing played out for the first time on a global scale. 所有这一切对抗和不稳定,第一次在全球范围内得到充分的表演。 来自辞典例句
31 ramifications 45f4d7d5a0d59c5d453474d22bf296ae     
n.结果,后果( ramification的名词复数 )
  • These changes are bound to have widespread social ramifications. 这些变化注定会造成许多难以预料的社会后果。
  • What are the ramifications of our decision to join the union? 我们决定加入工会会引起哪些后果呢? 来自《简明英汉词典》
32 adviser HznziU     
  • They employed me as an adviser.他们聘请我当顾问。
  • Our department has engaged a foreign teacher as phonetic adviser.我们系已经聘请了一位外籍老师作为语音顾问。
33 repelled 1f6f5c5c87abe7bd26a5c5deddd88c92     
v.击退( repel的过去式和过去分词 );使厌恶;排斥;推开
  • They repelled the enemy. 他们击退了敌军。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The minister tremulously, but decidedly, repelled the old man's arm. 而丁梅斯代尔牧师却哆里哆嗦地断然推开了那老人的胳臂。 来自英汉文学 - 红字
34 invincible 9xMyc     
  • This football team was once reputed to be invincible.这支足球队曾被誉为无敌的劲旅。
  • The workers are invincible as long as they hold together.只要工人团结一致,他们就是不可战胜的。
35 brutal bSFyb     
  • She has to face the brutal reality.她不得不去面对冷酷的现实。
  • They're brutal people behind their civilised veneer.他们表面上温文有礼,骨子里却是野蛮残忍。
36 Portuguese alRzLs     
  • They styled their house in the Portuguese manner.他们仿照葡萄牙的风格设计自己的房子。
  • Her family is Portuguese in origin.她的家族是葡萄牙血统。
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