VASCO: The Quelossim gram sabha on Sunday strongly resolved not to issue no-objection certificate (NOC) to the Mini India Park project.
The gram sabha witnessed heated arguments between the villagers and panchayat members when the issue of granting NOC to the Mini India Park project came up for discussion. The gram sabha members questioned the panchayat secretary Narayan Azgaonkar for reportedly issuing NOC to the project without informing the panchayat body. The villagers claimed that if commissioned the project would destroy the village and affect their livelihood.
However panchayat secretary Azgaonkar told gram sabha members that he had acted as per rules and based on a memorandum received from the deputy director of panchayats even as the village panchayat in its special body meeting revoked the said NOC.
Quelossim Village Biodiversity Management Committee chairman Lopinho Xavier informed that the villagers had been opposing the Mini India park project since 2012 and that the proposed project was inspected 15 times and action was also recommended. But till date no action had been taken by the authorities, he said.
Latar, Xavier charged that Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha failed to raise the issue of the Mini India Park project in the recently concluded budget session of Goa Assembly.
According to Xavier, the Quelossim Village Biodiversity Management Committee had requested the Cortalim MLA to raise the issue in the Legislative Assembly when the MLA had attended the last gram sabha meeting. "I had submitted a letter to our Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha requesting her to raise the issue of Mini India Park project in the Legislative Assembly. But the MLA did not raise the issue for the reasons best known to her," Xavier said adding that if the matter was raised in the Assembly, the government would have replied to it.
The gram sabha also demanded that the panchayat should initiate action against scrapyards operating illegally in the village by flouting all the necessary permissions.
Quelossim sarpanch Maria Rita Souza e Colaco told the gram sabha that six scrapyards were operating in the village and that the one of the scrapyards would be demolished within a month as per the court order. She further informed that the matter against two other scrapyards was going on before the deputy director of panchayats.