CALANGUTE: The residents of the coastal village of Calangute on Sunday resolved not to issue any licence to mega projects and hotels in the village due to the shortage of water and erratic power supply witnessed by the villagers.
The panchayat passed the resolution during the gram sabha held in the panchayat hall. The gram sabha, which started around 11 am continued till late in the evening without a break and ended around 8 pm.
The villagers raised strong objection to the issuance of licences to mega projects and hotels in the village. They said that it has been 30 long years since licences are being issued to hotel projects and mega housing projects in the village. “This has led to tremendous pressure on the infrastructure. Locals are not getting proper water supply. Even the power supply is erratic. Till proper infrastructure is put in place, no construction licence will be issued,” they said.
A villager Agnelo suggested that a resolution be passed according to which locals constructing small ten-room guest houses, hospitals and schools should be given licences.
Former sarpanch Joseph Sequeira brought to the notice of the gram sabha an issue regarding the improper water supply. He said that a PWD valve is being blocked by using concrete and the water is being supplied to Candolim where many outsiders reside at Arradi. He said they get 24-hour water supply while the locals are deprived the supply. The valve that is being blocked should be opened so that proper water is supplied to the people of Calangute, he said. Villagers also raised the issue of PWD water being supplied to them after midnight.
Locals also discussed the issue of retired workers being given extension in Calangute in the water department. They alleged that the workers do not do their work properly and demanded that they be replaced with good staff. “Even the old water pipeline needs to be replaced, as water goes waste often when there is a pipeline breakage,” the villagers said. Sarpanch of Calangute Shawn Martins said that the panchayat will adopt the resolution in its monthly meeting and will not allow any licence to mega residential housing complexes and hotels projects till the water and electricity issues are solved in Calangute. Licences will only be provided to locals constructing guest houses, hospitals and educational projects.
Pledging to keep their village clean, the villagers, who were present in large numbers at the gram sabha, raised the issue of garbage contractor not collecting garbage properly which is segregated by the locals. They alleged that the garbage workers mix the segregated waste in the truck as a result of which the segregation which the locals do serves no purpose.
Stating that arrangements have been made to place dustbins near the panchayat so that people can dump plastic bottles in the bins, the sarpanch said that door-to-door garbage collection of the entire village will be undertaken soon. Presently, this system is in operation only in Naikawaddo. He said that the system will be put in place in other wards of the village.
Other issues which were discussed during the gram sabha included improper streetlights, haphazard parking, light tax taken by the panchayat, youth of Calangute not being provided government jobs and self-help group stalls provided to women being misused.