‘It’s Not About a Forest, It’s Their Way of Life Which Is at Risk’

‘My Mollem: Goa’s Green Heart’ is a film about the protests by local Goans against three infrastructure projects.

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During the COVID lockdown, three humongous infrastructure projects were passed in Goa — a 400 kv transmission line, a highway and a railway project.

Locals allege that if these were to be realised, they can irrevocably change the face and future of Goa. They say that over 51 million tonne of coal will be transported from Mormugao Port through protected areas like Mollem National Park and rural villages to industries in Karnataka. This can destroy the tourism industry as it exists, seizing people’s livelihoods and a chance at better lives, while also disrupting the biological diversity of Goa.

'Amche Mollem'

A group of young citizens have gathered to oppose the government’s decision. A collective of artists, writers, scientists, lawyers, film makers, journalists and students have spent the last six months working tirelessly to make the public aware. The three projects have been passed without the due processes with faulty EIA’s and one of them is in violation of a Supreme Court order. Over 150 scientists, 100 business owners, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa and 400 medical students have written to the MoEF and the Goan government. In addition, over 70,000 people have signed a petition urging the authorities to scrap these three projects in view of the damage it will cause to Goa’s wildlife and the health of its people.

The crew shooting  ‘My Mollem: Goa’s Green Heart’
The crew shooting ‘My Mollem: Goa’s Green Heart’
(Photo: Future Films)

The Protests

The South Western Railway (SWR) was scheduled to proceed with the track doubling at Guirdolim-Chandor road crossing during the late night hours of 2 November. In response to this, over 5,000 people came onto the streets of Goa on the night of 1 November, and prevented the construction of the railway tracks by physically lying on the tracks and lighting candles. The protests have been going on since 2016.

The crew shooting  ‘My Mollem: Goa’s Green Heart’
The crew shooting ‘My Mollem: Goa’s Green Heart’
(Photo: Future Films)

‘My Mollem: Goa’s Green Heart’

This documentary by Future Films, a filmmaking collective, intends to not only highlight the rich biodiversity that exists in these protected areas, but more importantly, to voice the opinions of local communities that have yet to be heard by the government agencies. The film seeks to focus on the plight of the most vulnerable section of these communities, like farmers, who would lose their entire life’s work and the land itself, if these projects were to take shape.

(This documentary has been made by Future Films. The views expressed in the film are that of producers and representative of Amche Mollem Campaign. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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