There has been a big boost to the Save Old Goa Committee Agitation as a letter by G Kishan Reddy, Minister for Tourism and Culture, to TMC MP Mahua Moitra surfaced. The letter revealed that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has issued a demolition order against an illegal structure in Old Goa according to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region of India, GK Reddy wrote a letter to the TMC MP Mahua Moitra on October 18, 2022, stating that on August 16, 2022, ASI had issued a demolition notice order against the illegal structure in Old Goa under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
Goans have been protesting for the last year against an illegal structure which rose in the vicinity of the protected site at Old Goa. People from various sections of society agitated and protested, demanding the demolition of this controversial structure.
It is still unknown why despite people’s agitation and demand to pull down this controversial structure, it continued to stand tall to date.
When asked, a few Goans who were part of this protest opined that they smelt a rat about this issue. Xencor Polgi, the anti-coal activist, said that it is a real shame that these sorts of illegalities are being tolerated by government authorities when there has been a strong protest and agitation against the controversial structure.
He further added that their main demand was to demolish the illegal structure and initiate action against those who were involved in giving permission to build structures of this sort in the vicinity of the notified heritage site. “I feel that by taking strict action against violators, the government will set an example before people that corruption and illegalities won’t be tolerated in Goa.”
Friday afternoon, 28 October 2022, BJP Goa spokesperson Savio Rodrigues also welcomed ASI’s order on the illegal structure at Old Goa. He tweeted, “Illegal bungalow at Old Goa must be demolished as per law.”
It may be recalled that in the year 2021, this issue came to light, and it became a major topic of discussion and protest for the people. Since then the demand to demolish the illegal structure grew and many people joined this agitation, pressurising the government machinery to take steps in razing this structure.
Demolition order stayed by High Court till next hearing
Demolition order issued by the ASI against the alleged illegal construction in protected area of Chapel of St Cajetan at Old Goa on Aug 16,2022, has been stayed by the High Court on Oct 12.
The demolition order issued under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological sites and Remains Act, 1958 has been stayed till the next date of hearing, i.e. Nov 15,2022.