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Reis Magos villagers seen in large numbers for the special gram sabha held on Sunday.

Reis Magos residents oppose shifting of casinos to Verem side

Reis Magos: Villagers of Reis Magos on Sunday passed a resolution opposing shifting of casinos to Verem side of the Mandovi river. A large number of locals was present for the gram sabha held on Sunday wherein the issue of casinos was discussed.

It was decided by the villagers that the panchayat of Reis Magos should revoke the temporary licence that had been issued for a casino jetty near the naval jetty at Quegdevelim.

The panchayat on Sunday had called a special gram sabha wherein the move over shifting of casinos from Panaji to Verem side of the river Mandovi was opposed.

Panchayat secretary Premanand Mandrekar told the villagers that the panchayat has not received any official letter from the Captain of Ports regarding the shifting of casinos but “some villagers have brought to our notice a letter that has been issued in that regard.”

A resident Sonu Naik sought to know how the panchayat had issued a temporary NOC for a casino jetty in 2008, near the naval jetty at Quegdevelim.

The villagers demanded that the panchayat should revoke this licence first.

Sarpanch Virendra Shirodkar told the gram sabha that an inspection will be carried out and the temporary licence will be revoked as “our panchayat body did not issue it.”

The villagers also asked the panchayat members if they would stand by the decision of the residents against shifting of casinos to Verem side.

Chandrakant told the special gram sabha that the fishermen are facing problems while carrying out fishing near casino vessels as they are being stopped from casting nets around 200 metres from the vessels.

The villagers said that if the casinos are at all shifted to the Verem side, the fishermen, who stand to be affected, will have to be provided government jobs as they will lose their livelihood.

Saligao MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar, speaking at the gram sabha, said that “shifting of casinos to the Verem side will not be allowed just the way the mooring work, which was being carried out for casino vessel, was stopped by me and some villagers a few days

back.”

“If the government shifts the casino vessels, it will have an impact on the fishing community at Verem,” he stated.  It was pointed out that, as per NIO report, half of the river Mandovi comes under Reis Magos panchayat while the other side under Panaji municipality.

Speaking further, he said that casinos, if shifted, will put a tremendous pressure on the infrastructure of the village, citing an example of how roads are already narrow and regular traffic jams area witnessed.

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