|November 26, 2018 at 10:25 am #8344|
The gram sabha of Benaulim on Sunday discussed a host of issues including the recent TCP amendment, draft tourism master plan, illegal constructions, pollution of water bodies and traffic management in the village.
A resolution was taken by the gram sabha against the recent amendment brought to the Goa Town and Country Planning Act by incorporating Section 16B that allows conversion of orchard land into settlement.
Villagers pointed out that the move was to allow outsiders who had bought large tracts of land to be converted for construction activity and added that indigenous fruit-bearing trees including mango, jackfruit and cashew plantations would be lost forever.
Benaulim being a coastal village and being directly affected by the draft tourism master plan, the gram sabha also took a resolution urging the government to discuss the plan with the panchayat.
“Tourism is directly linked to our village but this plan cannot be passed without the approval of the people of Benaulim. The plan should be given to the gram sabha and kept open so that villagers can give inputs, make suggestions and objections. We vote against this anti-people Draft Goa Tourism Master Plan 2018 in its present form,” said a villager Rudolf Baretto, who proposed the resolution.
Discussions also ensued over illegal constructions in the village with villagers demanding that the panchayat take strict action against culprits. Gram sabha members demanded action in the form of demolition.
Gram sabha member Royla Fernandes, pointing to the panchayat’s audit report, suggested that it make a list of such constructions. “The audit report makes a mention that the number of illegal constructions could not be verified because there was no such data with the panchayat. The panchayat should make a list of all illegal constructions and unauthorised structures, issue notices and take action if they are not adhered to,” said Fernandes.
The gram sabha that was chaired by the sarpanch Diella Fernandes and panch members also took a decision to undertake testing of water bodies in the village as many are complaining about pollution.
Pointing to a recent event at Tolleband in Benaulim, Baretto said that tradition of the Ganesh idol immersion had been stopped this year because of concerns of pollution as sewerage was being released into it.
Sarpanch Diella Fernandes said the panchayat will seek the help of the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) in testing all the water bodies in village.
A resolution was also passed to conduct a study on road safety and traffic management in the village. “Conduct a site inspection of the major road in the village to ascertain their safety with the village road safety committee, collector, RTO and traffic personnel as well as the panchayat body and place the findings to the locals for the gram sabha,” said Royla Fernandes who proposed the resolution.
Source/Reference: Navhind Times, “Benaulim villagers say no to TCP amendment, tourism master plan“