PANJIM: The issue of a bridge across Chorao island, illegal development of tenanted land and ongoing sale of plots in Deogim dominated the gram sabha of Chorao-Maddel panchayat on Sunday.  The villagers grilled sarpanch Salvador D Cruz about the illegal development of two parcels of land. A member, Machindra Kauthankar alleged that the developers had advertised the plots and are selling them to outsiders.
A senior citizen, Jose Noronha alleged that development activities had spread to cultivable areas of the island and the panchayat had adopted a passive role. Romualdo Fernandes and others alleged that roads have been laid on the plot admeasuring more than 30,000 sq m and around 90 plots have been made.
The villagers debated the effect of the large-scale sale on the demography of the small island. Increase in population and constructions will also add to the pressure on existing infrastructure in terms of water and power supply and will also increase garbage problems.
They demanded that the panchayat inspect the area and initiate legal action against the promoter/s and also submit a report at the next gram sabha.  The sarpanch said he was not aware of it and also nobody had complained about the sale of plots, but agreed to look into the matter.
The lack of a bridge for a closer link with Panjim continued to irk the islanders. After some discussion, they formed a seven-member committee headed by the sarpanch and comprising of deputy sarpanch Requeta Colaco, Salvador Fernandes, Romualdo Fernandes, Xavier Parras and former sarpanchas Rama Kubal and Srikrishna Haldankar to pursue the matter with the government. "This committee will follow up with the government and the local MLA the issue of construction of a bridge across the island," a villager said.
A private agency had carried out a survey during the tenure of then Cumbarjua MLA and EDC chairman, Krishna Kuttikar at a cost of Rs 20 lakh and identified five routes. Two were to link the island to Salvador do Mundo from the Salim Ali bird sanctuary while others were further north of the island between Ecoxim and Carabhat.
Villagers had given the green signal especially to the Salvador do Mundo-Chorao link as it connected the thickly populated areas of the island.
Regarding the ferry service, the villagers asked the sarpanch to take up the matter of deployment of four ferry vessels on Chorao-Ribandar route with the Captain of Ports.  Though the ports administration department had deployed four vessels after the villagers had launched a stir, the fourth one had been withdrawn from the route some time back.


A to Z said...

Well done Chorao people. Be united and fight the invasion of outsiders. We assure you'll of our support. 

Emediavoice said...

Sleep my dear Goan Sleep until you too will realize sold along with the land.Let the Panchayat member dominate any religion, the motherland is sold by the rascals or by crooks from the blues even without the slight notice of God or the dead spirits of Goa.

Joaquim Correia Afonso said...

Why is it that the local villagers must always fight against abuse of authority on the part of the powers that be, whether at Panchayat level or at State level, in defense of their land? To protect our heritage, to protect ecology?

Are all elected members greedy for a fast buck? No one to work devotedly, selflessly, for the benefit of the village or of the State?

Anand Desai Mopa said...

  One day we will all wake up and find Goa does not belong to us anymore because the elected authorities will have sold Goa while we were asleep. We will be people without a country. The MLAs will have had stashed enough money abroad for their comfort from selling Goa.

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