NGO refutes Kavlekar’s statement on land acquisition

MARGAO: Reacting to the statement made by the Quepem MLA and GSIDC chief, Mr Chandrakant Kavlekar, that the corporation had decided to halt the acquisition of 14.5 lakh square metres of land for expansion of the Verna Industrial Estate on the request of members of Voice of Villagers, who met with him, the NGO has categorically denied that any of its members ever requested Mr Kavlekar to do the same.

The NGO argued that it was aware that the land acquisition for the 14.5 lakh square metres in Loutolim and Verna that Mr Kavlekar referred to was not considered by him after the 305th board meeting of GSIDC, whereas what it had asked for, "Mr Kavlekar has not considered at all and still continues to acquire, thus hoodwinking the people."

It said that due to this attitude, the NGO was feeling forced to knock on the doors of the court for relief.

The NGO claimed that it had in its possession figures obtained under the Right to Information for proposed land acquisition at the 305th board meeting of GSIDC, dated October 31, 2008, wherein although it was resolved unanimously to acquire 16,83,900 square metres of land for the proposed expansion of the Verna Industrial Estate, in actual fact on December 22, 2008 plans for only 2,33,900 square metres was called from the Directorate of Settlements and Land Records.

This comprised of survey number 32 (10,000 square metres, Nagoa village panchayat area), survey number 30 (30,000 square metres), survey number 32 (15,900 square metres), survey numbers 94 and 95 (48,000 square metres all of Verna village panchayat area) and survey number 258 (1,30,000 square metres, Loutolim village panchayat area).

The NGO also pointed out that in the letter from Voice of Villagers addressed to GIDC dated July 13, 2009 registered its objection to the land acquisition and any other land acquisitions on the Verna plateau and in the rest of the industrial estates in Goa until the Regional Plan 2021 is finalised.

The acquisition that Voice of Villagers had objected to specifically is as follows: Phase V — 20,175 square metres – National Highway 17, next to Petrol pump at Airport road junction - Survey number 138 / 1-32

Phase VI — 12,000 square metres - Nagoa Verna - survey number 29, touching Phase II in Nagoa village

Phase VII — 2,62,125 square metres - Verna village - pockets of Survey 117

Phase VIII — 2,33,900 square metres - Loutolim village - Survey number 32, 30, 94, 95, 258 - 60,000 square metres - Rassaim road near Missing Link - survey number 198 (part) / 163 (part) / 165 (part) / 166 (part) / 190 / 192 / 189 / 187 / 186 / 184 sub-station (Electricity Department) 1, 17,800 square metres - Loutolim village - Survey numbers 197 / 196 / 198 / 163 (part) 193 (part)