Director of Municipal Administration Sandeep Jacques who was drafted by the Chief Minister to study and submit a detailed status report of the land acquisition to facilitate de-notification, has submitted his report to the government. Jacques, sources said, has made several observations on the controversial land acquisition, but has left the final decision of dropping the proposal at the door of the Chief Minister.
Highly placed sources said that Jacques is believed to have cautioned the administration that dropping the acquisition at the stage of payment of compensation to the parties would have
repercussions on other ongoing land acquisitions proceedings initiated by the government.
In his report, Jacques has observed that commercial activities have surfaced in a portion of the land admeasuring 8825 sq mts when the farmer Vishnu Bikaro Dessai claimed he was cultivating the fields for years now. It is learnt that a suggestion was made whether the owner could be allowed to cultivate a portion of the fields admeasuring 8825 sq mts, leaving the balance portion for the public utility project.
Officials of Land Acquisition Office, Margao were tightlipped over the issue, saying the Chief Minister will take a final call on the land acquisition. “The office is awaiting a final communiqué from the Chief Minister’s office how to go about the matter. So far, the office has stopped making payments of compensation to the land losers,” remarked an official.
Land acquisition for the Administrative building had been mired in controversy from day one after the process was scrapped by former Urban Development Minister, Joaquim Alemao before again reviving the proceedings during the last eight years.
The aggrieved farmer Vishnu Bikaro Dessai had knocked the doors of the High Court and the supreme court, before resorting to Gandhigiri when his plea for de-notification of the land acquisition proceed found no favour with various authorities.
Incidentally, the Cuncolim Municipal Council is firm in its resolve to get the land acquired for the administrative building, though it may have no idea from where to get the funds with the change in political guard.