28 May 2024  |   07:20am IST

Cuncolim civic body to act against illegalities outside industrial estate

Cuncolim civic body to act against illegalities outside industrial estate

Team Herald

CUNCOLIM: The Cuncolim Municipal Council (CMC) which always refrained from acting against pollution caused by factories in the Cuncolim Industrial Estate, on grounds that it has no jurisdiction over it, is now forced to act as factories have ventured outside the industrial estate to pollute grazing lands.

Landry Mascarenhas, who took over as chairperson last year, lamented that he has inherited the problem as previous councils failed to act, conveniently forgetting that he too was a chairperson earlier.

“The process involved including the stays granted on our orders, has delayed the action initiated by us,” he said, pointing out that they demolished an illegal well on February 28, as soon as a stay on its demolition was vacated.

The municipality, in January this year, commenced a survey of illegal residential constructions outside the estate and so far identified 1,000 rooms constructed by locals to house labourers and notices are served on around 60 of them.

“However, more than 1,000 workers reside within the factory premises, which is against the rules,” he said, demanding that IDC should act on it as the council has no jurisdiction inside the industrial estate.

Landry admitted there are illegalities in the grazing land outside and assured the council will act on it in time. “Some of those shouting about pollution today, were silent for the last decade when the BJP ruled the council,” 

he quipped.

With regards to Shradha Ispaat, Landry pointed out that the previous council gave it permission and they were even paying regular tax to the council. “We have now kept it on hold and will take a final decision when their application comes up for renewal,” he said.

Incidentally, Shradha Ispaat has purchased the land outside industrial estate. However, the Cuncolim Municipal Council is yet to act upon the illegal structures constructed by Global Ispaat on land it claims to have taken on lease from Sociedade Agricola Gauncares de Cuncolim e Veroda.

This company has constructed a double storeyed structure along with a compound wall which greens claim is built to hide the slag they are dumping in the around 30,000 sq mts of agricultural land.

The company’s claim to have taken the land on lease is stoutly refuted by the Sociedade which points out that the company issued a cheque for Rs 76,000 to the Sociedade when there was no committee managing its affairs in November 2022.

However, as soon as a committee was elected in March 2023, its new president Shaba Dessai returned the cheque to the company and also withdrew the receipt issued to it.

 “Despite this, the company is continuing to illegally occupy our land and the municipal council is not taking any action even though we have given written complaints on this matter,” claimed Shaba Dessai.


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