Carmona villagers on Wednesday demanded with the panchayat to withdraw the construction licence issued to Raheja project and warned of moving the high court for ‘fraudulently’ issuing the licence. The panchayat secretary has admitted to lapses while issuing the licence.
The villagers cornered the secretary Krishna Dessai, who came to the panchayat after remaining absent for over a week, questioning him for over two hours as to how the licence was issued.
During the discussion, it came to be known that the secretary had issued the construction licence without taking acknowledgement from the Raheja and that he was the lone signatory to the licence.
The villagers also questioned the legality of Orlando D’Silva for taking over as acting sarpanch without any orders from the director of panchayats related to the post that had fallen vacant following the resignation of the sarpanch.
Earlier, the secretary entered the panchayat amidst tight security as the police personnel were deployed to prevent law and order problem.
The villagers questioned the secretary over the urgency to issue the construction licence to Raheja Universal Pvt Ltd by ignoring the memorandum which was submitted to the panchayat by the villagers on September 13.
The secretary admitted that he had made a mistake by not signing the register nor the ‘movement register’, also alleging that he was misguided by the deputy sarpanch Orlando D’Silva.
Contrary to the claims of the acting sarpanch, who had come on record to state that he was not aware of the construction licence being issued to Raheja, the secretary said that the acting sarpanch was informed about the same at the time of issuing the licence. He said that he will convene a panchayat body meeting and place before the members the objections raised by the villagers and withdraw the construction licence.
The acting sarpanch came in for a sharp criticism for concealing vital information from the panchayat members and the secretary.
Later speaking to reporters, president of Carmona villagers forum Succoro Mendes said the construction licence is illegal as it has been signed only by the secretary while records show that he was not present in the panchayat. He said a delegation of villagers would be accompanying the secretary and meeting the BDO to discuss the matter and find ways to withdraw the licence.
The villagers warned the secretary that even if he is transferred the villagers would not let him walk scot-free for acting in haste and working against the interest of the village. They informed him that they have already filed a case with the vigilance against the panchayat members including him for his role in the entire fiasco.
Meanwhile, the villagers on Wednesday offered prayers at the cross in the Rajeha property. Over 50 people assembled at the cross, lit candles and prayed litany amidst tight private security of Raheja.