The Saligao Comunidade performs two main tasks: Proving license for use of lands and the upkeep of the Comunidade lands. They also work cordially hand in hand with different government authorities. This can be seen in the Saligao Comunidade-Government Afforestation Project, which was carried out nearly 30 years ago and involved the Saligao Comunidade and the Forest Department working together for the Social Forestry Program. The government assisted in replacing the earlier planted Acacia trees with native fruit-bearing trees like mangoes, jamuns, amla, and even other trees like banyans. The goal was to create a sustainable community garden that would be fruitful for future generations. Because of this initiative, there was an increase in groundwater tables. People also began water harvesting. The entire coastal belt received water from Saligao, which had previously been water-scarce. Both the Saligao Comunidade and the Saligao Panchayath collaborate well and seek each other's permission before undertaking any tasks that affect the other.
The Agricultural Tenancy Act brought in a lot of changes, as mentioned in the previous blog posts. The Saligao Comunidade owns approximately 170 hectares of Comunidade land, of which 40 hectares belong to the tenants who are considered deemed owners. Hence, the Saligao Comunidade owns only 130 hectares of land. And as mentioned earlier, such privatisation has led to the construction of a few disputed structures.
According to the Management Committee, change is necessary in order to keep up with evolving needs. The Code of Comunidade was laid out when society was still agrarian-based. The land could only be used for agriculture and wasn't permitted to cater to other small-scale industries, animal husbandry, or other activities that align with agriculture. Today, the total quantum of land that the Comunidade members can give away is only 400 sqm. The Comunidade would be able to achieve financial independence if the government gave them freedom in terms of obtaining approval to establish businesses, agro-industries, and community centres. It will provide the Gaunkars with employment opportunities, to pursue new skills or to set up a business. Gaunkars can use auctioned land to set up temporary structures that can be dismantled once their course has run its time and the depreciated value can be considered.
Key People who contributed to the Case Study
Table 2: Key People who contributed to the Case Study
|Desmond Da Costa
|President, Saligao Communidade
|Attorney, Saligao Communidade
|Treasurer, Saligao Communidade
|Ar Dean D’Cruz
|Gaunkar (Saligao Comunidade Member) and Principle Architect (Mozaic)
|Ar Brandon Joseph
|Junior Architect, Mozaic
Aggarwal, Mayank. 2019. Review of Bringing Back the Ancient Saraswati River. Mongabay. July 19, 2019. https://india.mongabay.com/2019/07/upcoming-elections-in-haryana-boost-efforts-to-revive-the-ancient-saraswati-river/.