Bedlam reigns supreme at Cortalim gram sabha

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July 22, 2013 at 10:57 am #4431

The marathon Cortalim-Quelossim gram sabha on Sunday witnessed noisy scenes with the villagers divided over the constitution of the market scrutiny committee.

When the issue of Cortalim market complex was taken up for discussion, Sarpanch Hilario Figueiredo informed that he had selected members of the committee which was placed in the panchayat meeting held in Nov 2012 and April 2013.

However, as the sarpanch could not show the procedure of the selection when villagers demanded from him, Kennedy Pereira, a gram sabha member, told the sarpanch that there is difference between passing a resolution and appointing a committee and demanded that committee be selected afresh and placed before the gram sabha for its consideration and approval.

Pereira further argued that there could not be any selection of architect’s plan for the market complex when the committee formation itself was questionable.

As the debate continued, the sarpanch suggested that the formation of the committee be placed before the gram sabha however, 28 members including five panchas raised their hands in support of the committee in the 11-member panchayat.

The opponents of the committee argued that they were in majority since 130 members had attended the meeting, but the supporters of the committee argued that the members present at the time of counting should be considered.

This led to commotion and the villagers accused the panchayat of deliberately posting the market issue at the fag end knowing the villagers begin to leave the meeting hall after their issues are taken up. The villagers also disallowed the sarpanch to announce that the gram sabha had approved the committee. Later, the sarpanch was escorted out of the meeting hall by the police.

Interestingly, while the sarpanch took the onus of appointing the members on the committee, the RTI documents with Herald revealed that the names were forwarded by the MLA.

Jude Pereira, Sarto Carvalho, Anthony Mendes and Nicolau Fernandes participated in the discussion.

Earlier, the gram sabha gave its approval for the Sanskruti Bhavan for the OLPS High School to be built under the Directorate of Tribal Welfare funds.

The gram sabha chided the sarpanch for not coming prepared for the gram sabha after he failed to provide information on the number of panchayat wells and the issue of sending notices to the shops selling tobacco products.

Source/Reference: Herald, “Bedlam reigns supreme at Cortalim gram sabha

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