The government has planned to paint the popular Goa Carnaval green to assuage popular ire against the Rs 600 crore Thapar-DuPont Nylon 6,6 project. "Environment protection" will be the theme in the Carnaval's sponsored float parades this year.
The political grapevine in the state has it that the green pageant has been purposefully designed to diffuse the tension. Environmentalists have been campaigning against the project. They insist it will burden an already overstretched water supply system and disturb the delicate ecological balance of this coastal state.
The greening of the Carnaval is an obvious political act. The All Goa Citizens' Committee for Social Justice had called for a boycott of celebrations after police fired on a crowd agitating against the project, killing 1 person.
Tripping the Carnaval would mean a major revenue loss for the largely tourism-dependent state. And deputy chief minister Wilfred D'Souza, who also handles tourism, can ill-afford it. He says that the green hue of the Carnaval signifies that the government is taking note of popular sentiments.
Meanwhile, Thapar-DuPont has issued an ambiguous statement saying that the "government's action in the face of public protests warrants a boycott of celebrations".
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