Gram sabha opposes shifting of NGT jurisdiction to Delhi; Sarpanch forced to assure protection from piggery waste; Secretary forced to summarise minutes of last meeting in Konkani
MARGAO: The Varca Gram Sabha on Sunday unanimously opposed the proposed nationalization of Goan Rivers and the shifting of Goa related cases from National Green Tribunal’s Pune bench to the central bench at Delhi. Besides, the Sarpanch was forced to assure farmers that their land will protected from the piggery waste and the Secretary was forced to summarise in Konkani minutes of the last gram sabha meeting.
As soon as the secretary read out the minutes of the last meeting, a villager said he did not understand a word and demanded that the minutes be read in Konkani. Even though the Sarpanch Roland Fernandes along with former Sarpanch Reginaldo Rodrigues assured to have the minutes in Konkani at the next meeting, the villager insisted that it at least be summarized in Konkani. The secretary finally summarized the minutes in Konkani and the meeting proceeded.
Led by Prevel some farmers gathered to complain about their agricultural fields being rendered uncultivable merely because one panchayat member Rosario Carvalho was releasing all the waste from his piggery into their fields.
The sarpancha’s explanation that Rosario was releasing his waste in a soak pit constructed for the purpose was not acceptable to the farmers who had gathered at the meeting and they referred to the report submitted by the Health Services that had inspected the site.
“If the Health Department has given a report then the department should act on it,” the sarpanch quipped. However, following a persistent demand from the people, the panchayat agreed to carry out a site inspection within a week and the farmers advised them to wear gumboots so that they can go in the fields to do the inspection.
Prevel pointed out that the Health Services in its report had admitted to the nuisance being present and suggested a fine of Rs 500 to the perpetrator of the nuisance besides threatening to disconnect the electricity and water connection.
A villager Roque Fernandes insisted that the Panchayat take action against the illegal activities undertaken by the migrants in the village and further demanded that the panchayat increase the trade tax of Rs 500 per annum levied upon migrants carrying on business by the road side.
As in the beginning a lot of time was spent discussing the issue of library villager Rosario D’Costa demanded that the matter be discussed subsequently after completing the agenda which was accepted by all present.
Subsequently, the gram sabha unanimously opposed the proposed nationalization of Goan Rivers on grounds that by doing so the locals would lose all control over their natural resource which would be totally controlled by the Centre.
The gram sabha also objected to the Central government’s move of shifting all Goan cases before the National Green Tribunal at Pune to Delhi on grounds that this would result in total destruction of Goa and its unique features as it would be extremely difficult for concerned people to fight the government before the Tribunal in Delhi.
In fact some villagers were heard grumbling against the BJP governments at Goa and Centre and accused the BJP of only conspiring to destroy Goem, Goenkar and Goenkarponn.