Sinquerim residents on Sunday protested rampant destruction of Sinquerim hill near the Kingfisher jetty wherein they alleged that trees have been cut down to carry out development.
Sinquerim-Candolim locals along with Calangute Constituency Forum held a meeting to highlight destruction of the hill wherein 74 trees were illegally chopped as learnt through RTI query.
The villagers claimed that no authority has given any permission to cut down the trees on the plot which comes under CRZ area and in Regional Plan 2021 the area is shown as ‘no development’ slope.
President of Calangute Constituency Forum Premanand Divkar said that “We are not against development but we will not tolerate destruction of hills, fields and the seashore.”
In the ODP, he said, hills are shown as settlement zones and if this was allowed the people of Calangute would be left deprived of drinking water in the future.
“We need basic facilities which are not provided such as 24-hour water supply and electricity. If a high-rise building comes up on the hill stretch in question, the existing infrastructure of the village will face tremendous pressure,” he
A social activist Damiao said that the three hills at Bonviage, Baga and Sinqueirm should be protected and added that locals had raised objections not to convert the hills into settlement zones, but it fell on deaf ears.
President of Pilerne Citizens Forum Prakash Bandodkar said that it was this forum in 2006 that had first raised the issue of destruction of hills and even approached the High Court and got the work stopped.
“With proper documents in hand, no one can stop you from moving the NGT and getting a stay,” he said.