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Don’t need tourists who come and cook on roadsides, says Calangute sarpanch

‘Either stop them from coming in or ask them to pay entry fees’

Story: the | goan | 19th February 2018, 01:50 Hrs

MAPUSA  

After Town and Country Minister Vijai Sardesai’s recent controversial “scum of the earth” statement against North Indian tourists, Calangute Sarpanch Anthony Menezes on Sunday said low-budget tourists should either be stopped or entry fee needs to be imposed on them.  

“Our people do not benefit from low-budget tourists who come in vehicles and cook on roadsides. They don’t even purchase a drinking water bottle and only leave garbage behind. These tourists need to be stopped or entry fee needs to be imposed on such tourists coming to Calangute,” Menezes said while addressing the gram sabha on Sunday.  

The sarpanch also stressed on the need to stop the menace of hawkers, transgenders and beggars on the beach belt. “Even these hawkers, transgenders and beggars are not Goans and we need to stop them from moving openly in Calangute,” he said.  

He further said the fields and hills in the village need to be protected from any development work and vowed to oppose anyone trying to destroy the beauty of Calangute.  

“I will not allow plantation of even a coconut sapling in the fields. We need to preserve the greenery for our future generation,” he said.  

Incidentally, Urban Development Minister Francisco D’Souza had recently said that all illegalities were going on in Calangute.  

In a lengthy and animated discussion, the gram sabha slammed the panchayat body over misuse of funds and the panchayat’s failure to reconcile previous accounts presented by the previous panchayat body.  

Locals said the panchayat budget for the 2018-19 cannot be passed until the accounts were clear.  

The panchayat secretary appealed to the gram sabha to give him a week’s time to get the books of accounts in order.  

The secretary and the sarpanch told the gram sabha that around Rs 49 lakh cash, as mentioned by the previous panchayat, was unaccountable. Further the panchayat had only Rs 11 crore in fixed deposits unlike Rs 16 crore as mentioned by the previous panchayat.  

Finally, the gram sabha decided to write to the Director of Panchayats, BDO and the vigilance department on the embezzlement of funds by the previous panchayat body.  

The gram sabha passed a surplus budget of around Rs 16 crore for the village panchayat for 2018-19.  

The budget has made several new provisions one of which was to start door-to-door garbage collection in the village. A gram sabha member proposed to hold open auction instead of inviting sealed tenders for sopo and parking fees collection in the village.  

The sarpanch informed that previous panchayat were doing “setting” at the open auction and that sealed tenders were the best and safest option.