PANJIM: The St Cruz gram sabha held on Sunday resolved not to grant any construction licences within the periphery of the Portuguese-era Bondvol lake, which is identified as an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).
The four-hour long gram sabha, chaired by Sarpanch Marian Araujo, also decided to approach the State Government to know why their village is still not being de-notified from the planning and development area (PDA).
Speaking to Herald, a prominent citizen Naresh D’Souza said that the villagers raised serious concern about protection of Bondvol lake and demanded that no construction licences be granted within the periphery of the lake. The villagers have asked the sarpanch to immediately demolish the illegal structures that have come up in the ESZ of the lake.
“The gram sabha was unanimous in resolving that no construction licences should be granted within the vicinity of the lake. The lake was also made part of PDA, which we have been strongly opposing,” he said.
During the meeting, the villagers sought to know whether the government has taken any decision to de-notify St Cruz village from the jurisdiction of the Greater Panjim Planning and Development Area (GPPDA) as demanded by them. “The villagers have asked the sarpanch to approach the government to know the steps taken by it to de-notify our village. We had submitted the memorandum in this regard to the minister earlier,” D’Souza said.
St Cruz villagers were the first to raise alarm against inclusion of their village in GPPDA.
The gram sabha witnessed much uproar over rampant land filling and construction activity on agricultural land in the village. During the last meeting, the sarpanch had assured the villagers to initiate action in this regard. However, no steps were taken in that direction.
“The sarpanch said that he was not aware about any such activities. The sarpanch has assured to write to the police to dismantle all the illegal constructions,” sources said.
“For the last few months this illegal land filling is taking place sometimes at night too, but then suddenly it was stopped. Recently the same thing is being repeated. The panchayat should take legal action against such offenders,” a resident said.