|April 4, 2016 at 8:39 am #6275|
Tension prevailed in Mangueshi after villagers set fire to the road leading to an allegedly illegal hill-cutting site on Sunday. The villagers have warned the government of a major agitation if it fails to immediately stop the destruction and levelling of hills in Mangueshi for a mega project.
Locals stated that rampant hill cutting had been going on in Mangueshi for the last two months under the protection of bouncers and without permissions from the panchayat and Town Country Planning (TCP). They also stated that the authorities, including police, were neglecting the issue.
Irked by the same, a large number of locals from Mangueshi, Cuncoliem and Mardol held a public meeting in Mangueshi on Sunday evening. Adv Raju Mangeshkar, a local and trade union leader, told the gathering that bouncers and ‘goondagiri’ would not be tolerated and alleged that the TCP, police, and collector were not taking action on their complaints, and hence, the villagers were forced to come on to the streets to preserve their hills.The villagers stated that they had submitted a memorandum to the TCP, police, and Deputy Collector, but none of them took action. They said that a large part of a hill in Mangeshi-Cuncoliem had been destroyed and hot-mixed roads had been developed.
Mangeshkar said that a mega project would not only destroy the scenic area of Mangeshi, which is also a tourist spot, but it would also destroy springs, nullahs, and paddy fields, which depend on the hills for water. He also appealed to those who had bought plots from the builder to get back their money as the villagers would not allow the project at any cost.
Cuncoliem-Veling-Priol Sarpanch Damodar Naik supported the villagers and said that the panchayat had not issued permission for the project. He said the panchayat had even inspected the site and informed the police, collector, and TCP about the illegalities, but no action was being taken. He added that the panchayat would not issue an NOC for mega project in their villages.
Meanwhile, Ponda Police and fire tenders rushed to the site to control the situation. The police tried to stop the villagers’ meeting, stating that it was illegal. When the locals asked them why they were not taking action against the builder, the police reportedly had no reply. The irked villagers later continued their meeting.
Source/Reference: Herald, “Mangueshi villagers burn road, warn govt of major agitation“