Mollem locals slam panchayat over grant of NOC to Tamnar project

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Ponda: High-voltage scenes were witnessed at Mollem gram sabha on Sunday over the issue of 400kv Goa Tamnar power transmission project in the village wherein the villagers grilled the panchayat body and secretary for granting NOC to the project without taking people into confidence.

The gram sabha was held in the presence of heavy police force and was presided over by sarpanch Kerkar.

The villagers have been opposing the power transmission project for months fearing its impact on them and the village.

As soon as the issue came up for discussion, the villagers questioned the panchayat body over the NOC for the project. The sarpanch told the villagers that the NOC had been granted for the project in the last week.

Villagers got furious over this and blamed the panchayat for taking the people for granted by issuing the NOC without taking them into confidence. Villagers demanded an explanation as to how the NOC was granted since the Save Mollem crusaders have challenged the project in court.

There were heated arguments as the villagers blamed the sarpanch over the NOC issue and also levelled allegations. Following which, the sarpanch left the gram sabha midway. After that the villagers gheraoed the panchayat secretary over the proceedings of the gram sabha in the absence of the sarpanch.

After an hour-long discussion, villagers demanded that NOC granted for the project be revoked as soon as possible. They also demanded that any correspondence received by the Mollem panchayat, as regards the 400 kv transmission project, be discussed with the villagers by holding a special gram sabha.

Surrendering to the demands of the villagers, panch members agreed to it.