Wednesday, 29 October 2008

LA-ND-TV

Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hame
en ast-o hameen ast

By Mayabhushan Nagvenkar
The two celebrated progenitors of the biggest and perhaps the most brazen surrogate branding exercise in recent times, are set to be neighbours in casino-heaven too.
While the undisputed prince of bitters, Dr Vijay Mallya already owns a bewildering monstrosity in the sands of Sinquerim, the more circumspect man of letters, Dr Prannoy Roy of NDTV is all set to follow suit in the neighboring village of Calangute.
There's no disputing the fact that NDTV's Dr Prannoy Roy loves Goa. That he does. The poor doctor loves the place so much, he's ended up buying the 27,000 sq mts plot (approx) at Tivai waddo, Calangute. A plot that includes two massive sand dunes, one of which has already been flattened down under truck loads of mud, local residents claim.
Documents obtained under the Right To Information Act (RTI) show that the sea-side plot which has sparked controversy (unreported for obvious reasons) is owned by Dr Prannoy Roy and his wife Ms Radhika Roy. Come to think of it, you don't even need documents to prove it. Dr Roy in response to a questionnaire sent by PP, admits to owning the land. The unedited questionnaire and Dr Roy's response to it, has been published below in verbatim.


THE BIG FIGHT
Compared to the bleary eyed, commercially ravaged chunks of Calangute, Tivai waddo appears to have gone off to sleep, when the tourism bus belched by. It continues to be a dozing ward with a spattering of homes belonging to local fishermen and others.
Even the narrow road which leads to Dr Roy's plot is just wide enough for one car to pass. The road ends near a house of tattoos which runs by the name Mike's tattoos.
This is the point, from where the road to paradise is lost.
Red soil dumped night after night using dumper trucks over a period of time, has now become hard-packed and has virtually replaced one large sand dune. The dune which has disappeared from sight, however continues to show on the development plans which can be perused through at the Calangute village panchayat office.
This dune, where villagers claims the construction activity was taking place, is at a much lesser distance than the stipulated 200 mts, within which all construction is banned under the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) norms. "Trucks used to come in night after night and dump mud on the already excavated sand dune. The panchayat does not know how it happened? We used to play football here on these two dunes when we were kids," claims Augustino Silveira, who lives a few minutes from the site. Augustino is a member of the Calangute United, which has been protesting against Dr Prannoy Roy's construction.
"We raised the issue on July 29, 2007 at the village panchayat meeting. After much delay, the panchayat then ordered an inspection of the site and has temporarily stopped the construction there," say Anthony D'Couza
secretary of Calangute United.
D'Souza claims, that Dr Roy had planned a lavish state-of-the-art studio at the site. "They were even constructing a swimming pool on the edge of the sand dune. After we protested the digging stopped. We only wonder for how long," he claimed. Bonnie, another local who has been involved in the protests against the construction, claimed that the owners had no right to either fence in or raise a compound wall around the sand dunes. "Once they raised the wall, stopping the construction work within, would have been impossible," he said, adding that a natural stream carrying rainwater into the sea had also been blocked during the construction.
Documents available with the panchayat show that a building licence for the construction of a beach resort in plot 159/3 had been issued to one Anthony Fonseca, who had started construction. The project was later sold to Dr Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy in 2007.
When contacted, Dr Roy claimed that he was concerned about environment and that there was 'no question of building on sand dunes'.
"Be assured, if we build anything it will be small, at the furthest point from the sea, totally within the regulations and totally within environmentally friendly norms," claims Dr Roy.
The truth is there for all to see.
All you need to do is drive to illuminated crossroad at Calangute, where the road ahead leads to the beach and the right heads for Baga. Turn left there and follow the road until a small tar tendril turns sharply towards your right. Follow the road until you see a house with Mike's tattoos etched on it. 159/3 is the plot right next to it.
And then, do write back.

WALK THE TALK
PP questionnaire
Dear Dr Roy
We run a media-critiquing blog that can be accessed at www.penpricks.blogspot.com. Although we largely critique the Goan media, we do post stories which are of national consequence once in a way. In fact your channel featured us when we broke our Nazi-gate story on the blog.
We are now running a story on the beach-side property you purchased at Calangute sometime back. We would be running the story about 48 hours from now. We would appreciate if you respond to our queries before Thursday night.
You were one of the few reasons why we aspired to become journalists.
It is disturbs us to hear that you have planned to construct a studio on the property purchased by you. Most part of the property is actually a sand dune. You must have strolled on it, when you came down to inspect the plot.
Here's the small list of questions, which we would be glad if you could respond to.
1) Have you purchased a beach-side property in Calangute
2) What do you propose to construct at the site?
3) Do you realise that a major part of the property is a sand dune. And law forbids you to construct on sand dunes
4) How do you justify purchase of this huge chunk of land, especially when your channel organised a debate on the issue of commercial over kill of land in Goa.
The anonymous nature of this blog, makes it unable for us bloggers to sign off using our real names.
Expecting your response
forever yours
The Pen Pricks

Dr Prannoy Roy's response
Dear P P
Thank you for checking with me. I am afraid the 'facts'/rumours are totally wrong. There is absolutely no studio being planned there. I have no idea where that thought came from. It hasn't crossed our mind.
We are as, if not more concerned about the environment and there is no question of building on the sand dunes. We wouldn't dream of it. I am surprised you should even think of such a project.
Be assured, if we build anything it will be small, at the furthest point from the sea, totally within the regulations and totally within environmentally friendly norms. We are as concerned about Goa's environment as anyone.
Thank you once again for at least checking all these spurious rumours with us. I expect that you should not believe and certainly not print such nonsense.
Thank you
Prannoy
(received from prannoy@ndtv.com)

P.S. The story took too long coming, thanks to the by-lined prick who took about a month to crawl from his home in Anjuna and haul ass to Calangute next door, to figure out the ground reality... PP will try and update a couple of times each week, a week from now. Pray we don't fall asleep again...

36 Comments:

Anonymous augusto pinto said...

Very nice penpricks and Mayabhushan. Excellent piece of reporting.What I don't however understand is this: "The reason picked up the story was cause the local media has been studiously ignoring the issue for months now."
Why should the local media not pick up the story? It is not as if all of them are being fed by Prannoy, or are aspiring to get high paying jobs there are they?
Or are they? I would say that Mayabhushan is more likely to land a job with Dr. Prannoy for having the balls to take on Doctor Prannoy [don't miss the Doctor] than by being submissive and sycophantic as the local media seems to be.

31 October 2008 at 09:21  
Anonymous Djfossil said...

Absolutely brilliant!
In late May/early June, trying to get NDTV to run an expose of what illegal mining operations were going to do to forested land and water in parts of Quepem, a cynical friend in Delhi told me that they'd go soft on it precisely because of XXXX's planned violation. I am informed, perhaps just a rumour as he claims, that he was told that permissions could be applied for, but chose the easier way of paying money to some all-to-willing Goans to turn their backs.

His answers give one the impression that he has his tongue firmly in his cheek. I hope he reads your report, junks his plans to take away the sand-dunes (A swimming pool next to the sea Prannoy? You're as bad as that XXXXX Mallya!, and, I hope he's reading this, get his crew down to Goa and expose our goons... (comment edited -- PP)

31 October 2008 at 10:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is indeed more than one sand dune there, why don't you post a photograph of them?
sevanti ninan

31 October 2008 at 10:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a Pronnoy admirer right from the DD days, I expected a crisp & clear answers to just the 4 questions posed by PP.

His answer sounds like more that of a politician. Shame! May that is the way everybody sounds when they have something to hide.

-PVM

31 October 2008 at 10:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the story lost its importance due to delay in publishing but hats off to u people!

31 October 2008 at 10:25  
Anonymous Shrikant Barve said...

Mayabhushan good work. But also pin point area on Maps... google maps etc. It will help readers to judge themselves... I tried to locate tivai wado calangute but.....

31 October 2008 at 12:20  
Anonymous Djfossil said...

Hey, how come you allows so many XXXxXXX words in this discussion and took away my right to call Vijay Mallya an XXXXX??? (comment edited -- PP)

31 October 2008 at 13:49  
Anonymous reshma bhikle said...

they said it wil be in environmentally norms but then later they ll forget all env norms and they ll sppoil it...........
at the begining evrybody talks like this but at the they show their real colours
so i feel we should not allow them to built sand dunes

31 October 2008 at 21:07  
Anonymous Siddharth Vardharajan said...

Dear PPers,

I followed the link and read Prannoy Roy's response. I wish you had quoted the whole response in your email because when Roy says "if we build anything, it will be small" it is clear he's speaking about a home and NOT a 'studio', which he rules out in his very first para.

On the other hand, the (presumably inadvertent) impression created by your email was that Roy was admitting that he would build a studio, but was committed to keeping it small...

Since I am an admirer of both PP and NDTV, I just thought I'd mail you my two cents worth ... that this rumour sounds rubbish to me.

Stay well.

Siddharth

31 October 2008 at 22:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh My God! Identity of the pricks has been revealed at last!
It is ex-Tehelka man Mayabushan and not Fredrick Noronha!
Of course, I always thought Rico cannot write such foul content on the blog. It is just not his style!

31 October 2008 at 22:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blog not updated again PP comments section shown on blog is only 7 while when clicked it says 10comments

31 October 2008 at 22:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PRICKS U STILL OWE AN APOLOGY TO NT EDITOR ARUN SINHA AS HE HAS BEEN VINDICATED. YOU HAVE NOT STATED THIS ON YOUR BLOG FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. ETHICAL REPORTING SAYS YOU OUGHT TO ACCEPT YOUR FOLLIES. SAY YOU ARE WRONG. PRINT OTHER SIDE OF STORY. CLEAR HIS NAME THAT YOU HAVE SULLIED FOR PETTY REASONS.
You are nothing more than a COWARD!

31 October 2008 at 23:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Maya,
As usual, great piece of investigative journalism...

1 November 2008 at 08:15  
Anonymous Nilesh Khandeparkar said...

Excellent post, Maya. Terrific command over the language too. Ab ek sher humari taraf se bhi hi jaaye --
Tu Shaheen hai, parwaz hai kaam tera
Tere saamne aasmaan aur bhi hai!
-- Nilesh Khandeparkar

1 November 2008 at 14:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. & Mrs Roy are the last of a breed of honest ethical people. I wish you would get the real story instead of Raj Thackery type language.

1 November 2008 at 19:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey tell what happend about manjunath and michel, is md not taking any action, we all should screw the b***ds.

1 November 2008 at 21:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mayabhushan are you married?

1 November 2008 at 21:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bhushan.....u rock!

1 November 2008 at 21:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why this adulation for mayabushan..... he is a darpoke

2 November 2008 at 00:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To
Anonymous
02 November 2008 00:50
Are asli DARPOK to tu hai.
At least Maya writes with his own name, you don't even have guts to do that. Your jealousy is obvious!

2 November 2008 at 05:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sab maya hi maya hei!

2 November 2008 at 15:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maya-bonkiss here

2 November 2008 at 22:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear
02 November 2008 05:24
darkope re toh. he's scared chicken. always trying to be disgusting. he has no guts. he's only loud

3 November 2008 at 19:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Prannoy,

The question is not whether you are building a studio or a one room hut, it is whether you are building on the dunes?

3 November 2008 at 22:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look behind the scenes, Mayabhushan has no good intentions. he is a kid at heart and soul.
This is from someone who knew him since the time he (Bhushan) stepped into Goan journalism.
He has a massive ego.
He knows he stands no chance in any of the goan media publications, so hit out at all of them.
All of penpricks stories have some bad intentions, if you are a journo from Goa you will know it.
Rico stay out of it. Your name is already sullied.

4 November 2008 at 01:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why attack Bhushan personally?
look at his achievements--right from his herald days to Tehalaka and pricks.
These are massive achievements for a young Goan journo where journalists can be bought over for a dime. It is natural for Goan jornos to be jealous of Bhushan.

4 November 2008 at 09:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why attack Bhushan personally?
look at his achievements--right from his herald days to Tehalaka and pricks.
These are massive achievements for a young Goan journo where journalists can be bought over for a dime. It is natural for Goan jornos to be jealous of Bhushan.

4 November 2008 at 09:12  
Anonymous grass is green said...

I smell a rat in this blog nowadays.

firstly this black colour sounds like a funeral box. its getting on my nerves. why dont u guys switch to the white background like earlier.
Secondly since when did penpricks start using their names for the stories. i think there is something wrong with this story. maybe the blog is hacked after all...
and why would Pranoy Roy respond to some annonymous blog's questions?
many questions and no answers

4 November 2008 at 12:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

"He knows he stands no chance in any of the goan media publications, so hit out at all of them"
Interesting comment. In any case, Goan publications have place only for boot-lickers.
As for Mayabhushan, the guy's a Goan journo star man. At age 30, the guy's deposed before and got the thumbs-up from the Parliamentary Committee that probed his famous MPLAD scheme sting.
No journalist from Goa has ever earned that honour and never will, including the great story-chor journalist of the Baghalpur Blindings fame, Arun Sinha.

4 November 2008 at 19:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

"He knows he stands no chance in any of the goan media publications, so hit out at all of them"
Interesting comment. In any case, Goan publications have place only for boot-lickers.
As for Mayabhushan, the guy's a Goan journo star man. At age 30, the guy's deposed before and got the thumbs-up from the Parliamentary Committee that probed his famous MPLAD scheme sting.
No journalist from Goa has ever earned that honour and never will, including the great story-chor journalist of the Baghalpur Blindings fame, Arun Sinha.

4 November 2008 at 19:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True,
Bhushan, A start Goan Journo.
Just google Mayabhushan Nagvekar and count the number of hits. I wonder any other Goan journo has ever achieved so much at a such a young age.

5 November 2008 at 09:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi anon 05 November 2008 09:01
and others,
Time you read the story of an ass that praises its SELF. In case, you cannnot find the story, call up the Penpricks and ask why did they give Bhushan the bye-line?
Someone should expose the lad but who will dare?
I suppose the above comment will be deleted as somehow he is releated or part of the pricks team.

5 November 2008 at 21:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANNON
05 November 2008 21:45

Your eyes have been blinded by the hatred of Bhushan or probably you are one those guys whom he had exposed.

5 November 2008 at 23:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice expose, Bhushan! But tell me, is it coincidental that a bylined story is being run just around the time that you are blackening yourself out????!!

6 November 2008 at 18:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction neede please. The Bhagalpur blindings were brought into the national limelight by SNM Abdi, who, of course, picked it up from a regional paper. I don't know how Arun Sinha figures out here.

As for Mayabhushan and his ego, one could forgive him that given his professional record.There are others who have achieved much lesser and nurse far bigger egos!

6 November 2008 at 20:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on how long will u hacks sell us ndtv and ethical shit.... how can anyone who is a nepotist be ethical...everyone in the media knows that the roys of ndtv are the #1 nepotists in indian media...

btw did u guys hear about the cool 200+ crores the Roys made selling a part of their stake in ndtv which went into their personel account and today ndtv doesnt have money to pay carriage fees (bribe actually)to Mumbai cable operators..btw this type of bribe pioneer is none other than prannoy roy!

29 November 2008 at 06:31  

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