Gandaulim locals step up opposition against jetty structure



Gandaulim locals step up opposition against jetty structure


Panaji: Gandaulim locals along with the sarpanch and panch members of Cumbarjua panchayat are opposing the jetty and shed constructed by a shipbuilding company in the village.

Addressing reporters at the site, local panch member of ward 5, Anuj Naik said that despite several letters to the authorities, there has been no action. He also said that the company has not taken permission to construct the shed at the location.

“In June last year, we highlighted the issue of land filling of the water body at Gandaulim by the shipbuilding company. The stop work order was issued by the panchayat last year, however, they still went ahead with the illegal work. We have written several letters to the Captain of Ports and CRZ authority regarding permissions granted for the jetty, and even wrote to the deputy collector regarding the issue. We have sent reminder letters to the captain of ports and CRZ authority as well. As per the NOC, the company was supposed to conduct their activities only within the stipulated area. However, they have encroached beyond 6 metres, which is a violation. Also, the shed has been built based on a 2007 panchayat permission, which was valid only for 6 months and was not renewed, nor have they taken fresh permission,” he said.

“The MLA had inspected the site last year, but there is no movement from his side and it is hopeless expecting anything from him,” he said, adding that there is no toilet facilities for the employees of the company at the site and that open defecation in the adjacent property is being carried out.

Adv Archana Parab, panch member of ward 2, said that the CRZ case against illegal land filling is under way and inspections have been held by the authorities.

“The company has obtained a demolition order against the stay order. The demolition order was issued in September last year, and subsequently the jetty promoters have applied for a stay against the order,” she said.

Local resident Rinaldo Rozario urged the authorities concerned to act against the illegalities.

“I am here for the panchayat and the villagers of Gandaulim. We have seen all these illegal activities happening. The panchayat is trying its best, but they are helpless and suppressed. Our fields have been filled, constructions have been taken up in these fields, our hills have been destroyed, and now they are filling our rivers. We condemn this act. I had asked the panchayat during the gram sabha to act swiftly on this issue. If there is no action by the authorities by March 10, we will take up a strong protest against the illegal activities and have a statewide protest. The villagers of Gandaulim and Cumbarjua are very concerned. They are silent, but don’t underestimate them. If we retaliate, it will be a bad thing to happen. We will be forced to take things in our own hands,” he said.

“Small and medium Goan businesses are being targeted, If someone sets up a kiosk, immediately a stay is issued and that person is evicted. But here in this case, the shipbuilding company’s business activities are continuing. Is the government supporting illegalities? This is my question to the BJP government,” he added.

Sarpanch Krisha Parab said that the previous panchayat body has to be blamed for this. “People have high expectations from the new body that was elected in August last year. We will act against the illegalities,” he said.

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