Saturday, March 26, 2017

Quelossim is a full panchayat and the financial stress is only beginning

Funds for infrastructure, biggest task of new Quelossim panchayat which now generates about Rs 18.7 lakh independently

22 Dec, 2016, 09:00AM IST

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Days after state cabinet approved the bifurcation of village Panchayat of Cortalim-Quelossim into two separate Panchayats, namely Cortalim VP and Quelossim VP, the new Quelossim Panchayat, after its formal formation, will have an uphill task to create infrastructure in its jurisdiction. 
As far as generating finances is concerned Quelossim will not face immense hardships due to revenues from the Verna Industrial Estate under its jurisdiction. However, other when it comes to creation of other infrastructure which any Panchayat should have, Quelossim would require extra financial support and special attention from the state government.
Presently both these villages jointly have 11 wards and after bifurcation Cortalim Panchayat would have 11 wards, while the new Quelossim Panchayat would consist of 7 wards.
“After the bifurcation formalities are completed then delimitation of both the Panchayats will take place. Presently four wards from Quelossim are a part of Cortalim-Quelossim Panchayat and thus once these four wards would be removed from Cortalim-Quelossim Panchayat, then. through delimitation process, these four wards would be split down into seven wards. In Cortalim, the same process to split 7 wards and to convert the same into 11 wards will take place,” said Cortalim-Quelossim Panchayat Sarpanch Hilario Figueiredo.
With regards to present source of revenue, Cortalim village independently receives around Rs 37 lakhs from all sources, including collection from house tax, tax collection from petrol pumps, etc. Similarly Quelossim village generates about Rs 18.70 lakhs independently from tax collected from Industrial estate in Verna, house tax, etc. Population wise, Cortalim has about 6000 voters (as per 2016 election roll) while Quelossim has about 2100 voters.
Looking at public infrastructures, Cortalim presently operates from its own Panchayat Ghar and would continue to use the same premises after formal bifurcation. However, for Quelossim the local church authorities (Quelossim church) have offered to provide them church-owned premises for operation of Panchayat Ghar till the Quelossim gets its new Panchayat. “Once Quelossim will be formally and officially declared as separate Panchayat we would ask the government to provide us funds for the construction of Panchayat Ghar and to depute dedicated team of officials from electricity as well as water department which would temporarily operate from premises that would be provided by Quelossim church to us. Similarly we would be asking the government to provide us with Primary Health Centre premises so that our villagers could avail health care facilities in their close vicinity. Likewise market complex, library and other various public amenities would be sought form the government,” Figueiredo said.
It is expected that soon the state government would issue notification for giving separate Panchayat status to Quelossim village and in the next Panchayat Polls; the voters from Quelossim, which consists largely from ST community, would be electing their new leaders under new Panchayat. Presently leaders, including present Cortalim- Quelossim Panchayat Sarpanch Hilario Figueiredo, Joao Damiao Fernandes, Niquela Fernandes and Vincentina Anthonio Silva represents Quelossim village in the Cortalim-Quelossim Panchayat and it is likely that same leaders, besides three new leaders, would be trying their luck in the next Panchayat elections from Quelossim.
Meanwhile locals from Quelossim village are very happy with the decision taken by the state government to give separate panchayat status to Quelossim village. They are also very confident that they all unitedly will help the Panchayat in creating infrastructure in its jurisdiction.