the goan I network
Demarcation of plots on the banks of the River Sal at Khareband/Kharelem evoked strong protests from local residents and activists on Thursday, as apprehensions were raised that the plots admeasuring 100 sq mts will only invite hordes of migrants in the locality.
The residents along with the Shadow Council for Margao (SCM) protested against the rampant increase of hutments and the filling of low-laying land for demarcation of plots for migrants. Citizens assembled at the site were shocked when a plan supposedly prepared by a MMC councillor surfaced, showing plots ranging from 100 sq mts to 130 sq mts.
The SCM and the residents have been complaining, since last year, over the mushrooming of illegal hutments in the area. However, instead of any action, the situation has only turned from bad to worse.
SCM convenor Savio Coutinho stated that the manner in which plots have been demarcated and drawn, they cannot be approved by any authorities as per the existing laws. He was very critical over the fact that the “Goenkars’’ have to run from pillar to post to get approvals for house construction, whereas in cases of migrants, they can set up houses anywhere, and are provided with all facilities free of cost.
A local resident, Agostinho Gama pointed out that a nallah that existed along the southern side of land has been filled up with mud and hutments are constructed on that area.
A fresh complaint has been filed by the residents on Thursday with the South Goa Collector, Chief Officer of MMC, Sewerage Department and Forest Department.
The complaint stated that vast tracts of low lying area along the River Sal, which was originally paddy fields have been indiscriminately filled up by some elements and plots of 50 – 150 sq mtrs have been marked using boundary stones.
“It appears that these illegal plots are being sold to migrants. It may also be noted that land acquired for laying of sewerage lines and chambers constructed by sewerage department have also been filled up for the purpose of erection of illegal structures /hutments”, the complaint added.