Kesarval locals oppose GTDC’s plans at the spring
17th June 2018, 03:30 Hrs
the goan I network
The Save Kesarval Spring Movement on Saturday condemned the Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s decision to put land in the area surrounding the Kesarval Spring on sale.
The GTDC on May 10 floated an e-tender notice calling for parties to develop the 28,200 square meter land, on condition that the Kesarval Spring be rejuvenated.
The land, which belongs to the communidade, will be handed over to whichever party comes forward for free, which the Kesarval Spring Movement termed a “scam.” Moreover, the land will be handed over for the purpose of building a hotel which will have to be 3 stars and above, they said.
The flow of the Kesarval Spring, which is a medicinal spring, has begun to diminish for a couple of reasons: the bore wells surrounding the area from which industries in the Verna Industrial Estate draw water are blocked due to discharge of sewage by these industries into the ground water. These issues were discussed in the gram sabhas of Cortalim and Quelossim and solutions on how to improve the flow of water were discussed, as well as the beautification of the spring.
“If the proposed hotel comes up,” a member of the Movement said, “it will defeat the natural purpose of the spring.”
Furthermore, the Movement asked GTDC Chairman Nilesh Cabral how an e-tender notice had been floated without a master plan, to which they said Cabral responded by saying that the water was already polluted and couldn’t be used by people, so the proposed project would clean it up, then open it to the public.
However, the Movement points out that once the proposed 35 room hotel comes up, it will be upto the owners whether to open the spring to the public or not.
“Right now, the spring is already open to the public, and it is open to everyone from Goa, and out, for free,” said member Lopinho Xavier. “We have been told that the proposed hotel will issue ID cards to those who want to use the Spring in future. But right now, we have access to the Spring and don’t need any hotel to give us permission to use it. We want to safeguard this right.”
Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha has already voiced her opinion that the hotel, if built, would be a good move, thus making her stand clear.
John De Sa, convener of the Movement has said that if the GTDC goes ahead with the planned project, the Movement will take up the matter legally. If the purpose of the project is to rejuvenate the spring, he said, “Give us the land which belongs to our panchayat, and we the villagers will rejuvenate the spring in one monsoon season.”
The Movement urged both Saldanha and Cabral to review their decision and cancel the proposed project. It expressed despair over the rights of Goans being deprived to Goans for the sake of a businessman.
Member Sanjay Redkar condemned the whole affair calling it a “commercial stunt.”
The Movement also asked MLA Nilesh Cabral to come forward with the report done on the area that he claims