Resolve to Call MLA to Village to Accept Memo
Villagers from Cavorim-Chandor and Guirdolim at a meeting held on Friday unanimously demanded that the local MLA and Urban Development Minister be called to the village to listen to their grievances where they would ask him to press the government for immediate notification of the Goa Regional Plan 2021.
Sarpanchas of both the village Derrick Braganza Pereira of Cavorim Chandor and Jose Antao of Guirdolim agreed to arrange the minister’s meeting to the village where besides the Regional Plan, other developmental projects and problems faced by the villagers would be discussed.
The demand came after Sabina Martins, GBA convenor explained to the people how their organization was formed and also explained in detail the reason why the natural topography of a village has to be maintained not only because of environment but also to protect the village identity which is being diluted due to large scale migration of people from other states.
Sabina decried the trend of the rich and the mighty in the country setting up a holiday home in Goa, which she said has made the prices of land shoot the sky in Goa.
Tracing their struggle to get the RP 2021 notified, she said the government does not seem to be inclined to do so because of vested interests and urged the people to pressurize their MLA and through him the government to notify the same.
Earlier, Cavorim Chandor Sarpanch Derrick Braganza Pereira explained how the panchayat conducted meetings in each ward and also at the Basic Christian Community meetings to get the people to participate in the process.
Besides, he pointed out the even though the villagers had rejected the proposed heritage hub at Cotta, the Union government has now amended the act to make Archaeological Survey of India’s permission mandatory for carrying out any work including digging pits for plantation within 200 mts of the heritage site.
“This would mean not only most of the residents of Cotta but even those from neighbouring village of Assolda would be affected,” he said.
Luel Fernandes from Chandor explained the importance of keeping the village identity as otherwise all villages would turn into urban areas with Goans being reduced to a minority. He pointed out to the degradation of Chandor village due to the extraction of black metal from the hill on the border with San Jose de Areal and the proposal to construct a tourist resort on the hill along the Paroda border.
GBA member Agnelo Furtado in his address referred to the various dates given by the government to notify the RP 2021 only to keep shifting to another date. He pointed out that the Constitution was amended to give the people the powers and regretted that the government was only paying lip service regarding empowering the grass roots while in reality trying to impose its own diktats upon them.
Sabina Martins urged the people to pressurize their MLA to prevail upon the government to notify the plan failing which she said the GBA would not hesitate to take to the streets. “If three years ago we organized the mammoth meeting on 18th December, this time too we shall do it irrespective of the fact that we are entering the golden jubilee year of Goa’s Liberation from the Portuguese rule,” she said.