Much to the embarrassment of local MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, the foundation stone laying ceremony for the panchayat ghar of Ilha de Rachol panchayat on Sunday was disrupted by villagers objecting to the site selected for this important building of the village.
Villagers led by Rachol Rakhonn Manch have been demanding that the panchayat ghar be constructed on Survey Nos. 55/2 and 55/3 which has been acquired by the panchayat for the purpose of constructing a panchayat ghar along with a library, community hall and cattle pound for which administrative approval and expenditure sanction has already been accorded by the PWD.
However, the Sarpanch Joseph Vaz wishes to construct the panchayat ghar on Survey No. 78/2 which has been gifted to the panchayat even though this plot admeasures only 222 sq. mts as against the other admeasuring 5,925 sq. mts. He has got the proposal to construct the panchayat ghar on this smaller plot approved by the RDA.
The Sarpanch argued that though the other plot was bigger in size, getting the requisite permissions would be time consuming since it comes with CRZ area. However, when asked by the panchayat acquired the land if it was coming with CRZ area, he blamed the previous body for taking that step.
On Sunday when the foundation stone laying ceremony was to commence, the two groups – supporters and opponents – gathered at the site armed with placards and began shouting slogans. When the police tried to maintain order and pushed the crowds away, the make shift structure where the plaque to mark the inauguration was installed fell to the ground.
PWD Minister Churchill Alemao anticipating the trouble did not turn up for the function though he was supposed to be the chief guest and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco had to remove the cloth from the plaque that was not only lying on the ground but also broken, to mark the occasion.