- Locals protest tree cutting on Chirpute Hills; demand action
Locals protest tree cutting on Chirpute Hills; demand action
Fear that the hill will be flattened to develop plots
PONDA: The villagers of Curti in Ponda taluka on Friday gathered near Chirpute Hills and protested against the cutting of thousands of trees located on the hill in around 75,000 square metre area that were then set on fire by miscreants since the past one month.
They have demanded action against the culprits by the forest department, police and the panchayat.
The Goa Tenant Mundkar Association convener Ramkrishna Zalmi, along with members of Rainbow Warrior and locals warned of an agitation in case of conversion of the hill into a settlement zone.
Zalmi demanded that the land be restored to its natural use and feared that this might be an attempt to level the hill and to develop plots and urged the government authorities to protect the hill.
The land surveyed under survey number 5, 7, and 9 lies on common border of Curti Panchayat, Priol Panchayat and Bandora Panchayat and many tribal and OBC people reside in the surrounding areas of the hill and depend on the spring water that flows throughout the year for cultivation of bagayats and fields.
Locals feared if this hilly area was levelled, they would be deprived of spring water and wells would run dry in summer.
According to a local, Shrikant Naik, this is a Comunidade land and lies on border of 6 TTR Military Training camp and Military often uses this hill for practice firing, and often takes care to inform about locals at the time of practice session.
Hence, protection of the hill is also important for safety of the Military Camp. Locals alleged that some local politicians were helping builders to carry out the illegal activities during the night.