BENAULIM: The gram sabha of Benaulim on Sunday discussed the issue of the draft CRZ notification and the TDR policy in addition to a host of other development works in the village. Gram sabha members also discussed at length works to be taken up under the gram panchayat development plan (GPDP).
Expressing concern over the draft CRZ notification 2018, the villagers said that any reduction in the NDZ area would have a severe effect on the entire village. “Land is being bought by outsiders to build hotels and resorts and this notification will not benefit Goans. As it is, water bodies are polluted with E.coli bacteria and if more hotels come up they will worsen the situation. The beaches will not be accessible for Goans,” said Rudolf Baretto, while another gram sabha member Roque Fernandes said that the government should classify Benaulim as a coastal village.
Similar parallels were drawn to the recently passed transfer of developmental rights (TDR) policy which, locals said, will not benefit Goans but will only destroy the existing land in the village.
The GPDP presented before the gram sabha included desilting of wells and nullahs, repairs of local anganwadi, building of retaining walls and drainages as well as covering open drains with slabs. During the discussions, gram sabha member Royla Fernandes pointed out that locals from ward 2 had asked for developing a children’s park and a walking track in a vacant area.
However, it came to light that a proposed 12-bed hospital in Benaulim was to come up in the open space, the gift deed of which was in the possession of the panchayat. “Open spaces are kept exclusively for the villagers. We are not opposing the project, but no property of the panchayat should be given to the government,” said Royla Fernandes, while asking the panchayat to inquire into what can be taken up on open spaces.
A resolution was also passed in response to a proposal to convert Benaulim prawn hatchery into a cold storage. “I propose to write to the fisheries department to convert the prawn hatchery into a cold storage so that fishermen can stock their fish and locals can buy formalin-free fish. The department can also consider running the cold storage on solar energy,” said Roque Fernandes.
A call was also made by gram sabha members to strengthen and encourage local football talent in the village with better funding and training to those interested. Sarpanch Diella Fernandes informed the gram sabha that the panchayat would begin implementing a strict fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found burning plastic in the village.