Joao Souza M | NT
With issues ranging from unplanned development, garbage disposal to unemployment, the tiny village of Sarzora has problems of plenty and has been ignored over the years while promises have only remained on paper.
The village which has been a traditional Congress bastion with the party hopeful of retaining control over the panchayat with many Congress workers getting the nod to contest despite the elections not being contested on party lines.
The panchayat which had just five wards in 2012 will see the addition of two new wards taking the strength of the panchayat to seven members.
The village with a small population of just over 2,000, has on an average 250-350 voters per ward, who will decide the fate of the candidates who are mostly facing a two to three-corned fight.
The Congress which has regained the Velim assembly seat after it had lost it in the 2012 assembly elections will be buoyed by the prospects to further consolidate its position in the constituency by taking control over the panchayat. Former MLA Benjamin Silva has also been working behind the scenes to wrest control of the panchayat from the Congress.
Healthcare remains a major issue in Sarzora along with garbage disposal, power supply and dust pollution from stone crushing units and the villagers want the new panchayat members to address the concerns by being accountable and fulfill the needs of the village and villagers.
Several new faces have also thrown their hat in the ring and are expecting to spring in a few surprises.
The previous term of the panchayat was marred by several controversies with the panchayat coming under criticism from the villagers over accountability over illegal land-filling. The panchayat had failed to even conduct the gram sabhas in time. The villagers this time around have suggested that past performance will be a key factor during the forthcoming elections.