Panchayat Director calls for a second meeting with the villagers and MLA today
MARGAO: A large group of Carmona locals gathered at the Directorate of Panchayats in Panjim on Thursday to submit a petition, signed by over 500 villagers, demanding that the election for the post of Carmona sarpanch be held immediately. They were accompanied by Benaulim MLA Benjamin Silva.
The Panchayat Director has called for a second meeting with the villagers and the MLA on Friday, where they will discuss the villagers’ grievances, the panchayat’s decision to grant the construction licence to Rahejas whilst ignoring the people’s objections, and glaring discrepancies in the panchayat files, part of which has been confirmed by the inspection report of the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP).
The villagers had visited the DoP in a big convoy of cars and displayed bold banners against Raheja and mega housing projects. They submitted their petition to the administrative section as the panchayat minister was not present.
The Carmona Village Social and Welfare Forum, in the presence of Silva, met the Director of Panchayats and were told that elections for the post of sarpanch will be held soon.
“The following villagers of Carmona wish to bring to your kind and urgent attention that the functioning of village panchayat of Carmona has been very erratic, lethargic and against public interest due to the resignation of the sarpanch and the post being vacant for the past one month,” read the petition.
It further stated, “We the villagers of Carmona have to undergo enormous amount of hardships and pain as the acting sarpanch is not available in the office during office hours on week days. We wish to petition and request you through this letter to immediately hold elections to fill up the vacant post of sarpanch in the larger interest of the village.”
It is to be noted that tight security was maintained fearing law and order issues, but the movement has been peaceful since the beginning.
This move comes fresh on the heels of the extraordinary gram sabha on October 11 and the panchayat meeting on October 3. There was a great deal of anger in the village after a resolution moved by the four panchas – the majority – of the panchayat to revoke the construction licence was not recorded properly in the minutes of the October 3 meeting. While the panchayat secretary said he would confirm the minutes at the next meeting, the gram sabha on October 10 adopted a resolution asking the panchayat to take cognizance of all their objections in the resolution and issue Raheja a show-cause notice as to why the construction licence should not be revoked.