Panaji, Apr 16: The Goa Legislative Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a resolution demanding special status to the state to protect its shrinking availability of land resources and preserve the cultural identity.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the House that of the total 3,702 sq kms of land, the state is left with only 362 sq kms of land for the future development, which is a cause of concern.
Cutting across the party lines, the legislators passed the resolution, which would be submitted to the Centre next month by an all-party delegation from Goa, the smallest Indian state.
The House demanded special status to Goa under section 371 or any other provisions of the Indian Constitution.
Parrikar clarified that the state was not demanding special status for a financial package, as it would be absurd to ask for the same considering the high per capita income of the state.
"Goa is only demanding special status to preserve its land mass and cultural identity," he said, adding that it should be granted on lines of Mizoram and Uttarakhand.
The Chief Minister said that the land sharks have created the land banks in Goa, straining the resources further.
Parrikar clarified that this is "not a political resolution or election gimmick" considering the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Presenting a case for special status before the House, the Chief Minister said that the Goans will lose their identity due to the migration from other Indian states.
He pointed out that the replacement ratio per couple is 1.76, which is lower as against the expected average of 2.11.
Parrikar lamented that the people are selling the properties in order to earn money, which is not acceptable.
He conceded that without special status the state government will have limited control on the sale of land resources.
In the meantime, the Goa government, he said, will try to enact legislations to establish the control on sale of the land partially.
Parrikar clarified that even if special status is granted on the state, it would not affect those investors who have already put in their money in the state.