Mopa: The proposed Greenfield airport project at Mopa has brought uncertain future for the members of the nomadic Dhangar tribes, as the state government has acquired land, where the tribes claim to have been living for generations together.
The tribes, who claim that they have been living on the plateau since over a century, say they are left in a lurch, as they are not sure about getting the government compensation, which is paid for land acquisition.
From the Mopa village, which is almost 30 kms north of the capital city of Panaji, it is an hour`s ride through the rough and non-tarred roads to reach the Mopa-Sodo pleateau, which is home for 12 families of this tribal community.
Eighty-year-old Bhago Warak, who stays here with his family, says he was born here and has been living at the site ever since he can remember. The family has now multiplied and there are five more houses of the Waraks here. Some more people from the same community have also joined them and shared the space without any differences.
"Things were all right till 2000. But suddenly, there was a buzz of airport project planned here. Initially, we thought that we would be spared, as we live much away from the actual Mopa village," Bhago said.
"But, we were dejected when we saw government officers coming here to demarcate the land for the airport project," he added.
Raising goats is the prime vocation of the Dhangar families, whose male members travel to Pernem, a small town few kms away on Goa-Maharashtra border in search of daily wage job.