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Tempers rise at Saligao over power cuts, house tax arrears

16th April 2018, 07:05 Hrs

the goan I network
Porvorim
Saligao gram sabha witnessed heated discussions on frequent power fluctuations, accumulating house tax arrears, cattle pound, budget estimates for the year 2018-19, etc on Sunday. 
Saligao villagers raised the issue of frequent power disruptions in the village. Austin D’Gama mentioned that when he enquired with the engineers of the power sub-station at Saligao about power fluctuation he was told that the power sub-station has been overloaded and is unable to cope up with the power demand of Saligao village.
“They have proposed a new power station of higher capacity at Saligao for which land also has been acquired. The estimated cost of this project is around Rs. 11 crore. However this project will take some to come into existence. The panchayat should therefore invite Housing Minister/Saligao MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar as also engineers of the electricity department in the next gram sabha meeting so that they can explain the correct situation of power supply,” demanded D’Gama. 
The villagers also got furious when the panchayat secretary Viraj Kinalker informed the villagers that the house tax arrears have touched almost Rs10 lakhs. The villagers mentioned that this is serious issue that needs to be tackled on a priority basis.
“The panchayat should either outsource this work of collecting house tax arrears or each panchayat member along with the panchayat staff should visit the defaulters and issue them a demand notice in respect of house tax. The panchayat members will also come to know how many people have been staying in rented rooms and about illegal constructions in their wards,” said the villagers. 
When the panchayat secretary mentioned that 89 cases of illegal construction are pending in the court, the villagers suggested the panchayat call a special gram sabha meeting and invite all the people who have unauthorised constructions in their property and settle their cases in front of the villagers.
Panchayat secretary presented the budget estimates for the year 2018-19 before the gram sabha. The villagers sought information on grants, taxes, scholarships, etc and made some suggestion to the panchayat. 
Earlier Sarpanch Lafira Gomes welcomed the villagers and panchayat secretary Viraj Kinalkar read out the minutes of the last gram sabha meeting.