Urban Development Minister Joaquim Alemao not only assured to scrap the proposal to acquire the cultivated paddy field in Cuncolim to construct the civic building, but also directed the Cuncolim Municipal Council to convene a meeting to endorse this decision.
It may be recalled that the Cuncolim Municipal Council had proposed to acquire a paddy field opposite the new bus stand to construct a civil building to house the various government departments.
The objections raised by the owner of the field Vishnu Bikaro Desai that he and his family survive by cultivating the field to eke out three crops from it and that barren land adjacent to the bus stand was available for constructing the civic building, fell on deaf ears.
In fact, Vishnu went up to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the authorities but to no avail and left with no alternative, he along with his entire family began an indefinite hunger strike at Cuncolim on Wednesday which resulted in Joaquim who is the local MLA rushing to the site and working out this solution.
Speaking to media persons, Mr. Alemao said that it was the previous BJP-controlled Cuncolim Municipal Council that had mooted acquiring the land and asserted that he was opposed to acquiring paddy fields for such projects, particularly when alternate land was available.