In an incidence, which should shock the architecture fraternity not just in Goa, but across India, Goa’s TCP minister Mr. Vishwajit Rane has accused architect Dean D Cruz of fraud and threatened him of blacklisting and not sanctioning any of his proposals.
Mr. Vishwajit Rane also accused architect Dean D’Cruz of misleading the panel members for his personal gains. He shared,
“Even today I will stand with my statement that the State Level Committee was a scam. There were people, who call them civil society members…they say their heartbeat for Goa…I will name Dean D’Cruz…he is a big fraud…a non-Goan who was part of SLC…He misused the power…misled the committee members for his personal gains,” – From OHeraldO, Goa
The architectural community in Goa has expressed their strong disapproval of Mr. Vishwajit Rane’s statement. They are planning to approach Mr. Pramod Sawant, the Chief Minister of Goa, in order to take the appropriate steps to protect the interests of professionals. A letter, signed by several architects, outlines these concerns. It mentioned,
“Our fear is not only restricted to architects but to every citizen of the state that must deal with government agencies from time to time. For today if such behaviour is acceptable from the TCP minister, tomorrow Goa will descend to a point of utter lawlessness where each minister acts as a monarch and dictator, with no disregard for rules and regulations, as he presides over his department.
The threats on the assembly floor challenge the very foundation of our democratic principles, on a stage provided by democracy. Sir please note that the rights entailed by assembly privilege bring with them a duty to not discriminate against others who cannot defend themselves on the floor of the house. On behalf of the community of architects, we request that you ask the hon. Speaker to expunge the comments of the minister from the record of the house. Keeping these statements will weaken the faith that our profession has on the Town Planning system and the government of Goa, and could end up costing Goa a lot of development potential.”
Speaking on this issue, Prof. AGK Menon shared,
“The agency of architects have been progressively eroding. The Supreme Court has opined that an architect is not required to design buildings; the politician determines what and how urban development should take place, majorly seen in the case of Central Vista Redevelopment, Vishwanath dham in Varanasi and Mahakaal precinct in Ujjain, among many other more ubiquitous projects throughout the country; civic administrators and Engineer HODs of public building departments; developers, et al, now instruct architects on what they should do; but now, this is the last straw in the progressive destruction of the idea of professional role in spatial development: an arrogant politician threatening to ‘punish’ Dean D’Cruz. They are all part of the eviscerating narrative of the architectural profession in post-Independence India. The architect is, of course, often complicit in this process. They have not risen up to the challenges, and more regrettably, the CoA seems impotent to fulfil their legal, moral, or simply pragmatic mandate.”
The full copy of the draft letter, which is being circulated among architects, can be accessed on the link below:
The copies of the letter are also being sent to the Council of Architecture, Indian Institute of Architects, and the Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, Goa, for their action against the Minister’s statement.