The election fever has picked up in Reis Magos panchayat area with issues pertaining to panchayat ghar, water, potholes, cleaning of drains, beautification of Quegdevelim beach coming back into focus.
The panchayat of Reis Magos comprises eleven wards of which from three wards candidates have been declared winners unopposed. These wards are ward number 7 (Sonarbhat), which was reserved for an OBC candidate, from where Virendra Shirodkar, ex-sarpanch and three-time member of the village panchayat has been declared winner unopposed; the other ward is number 9, from where another ex-sarpanch Kedar Naik was declared elected unopposed. Naik represents Betim ward and this is going to be his second term; while wife of present sarpanch Prassana Nagvekar, Siya Nagvekar was elected unopposed from ward number 8, which was reserved for a woman. She represents ward Orlant and this will be her first term as panch. Her husband represented the Alto Porvorim ward twice.
There are 28 candidates in the fray for 8 wards of the total 11 while three wards have already got the winners declared.
Ward numbers 1, 3, 5, 8 have been reserved for women and wards 1,4,7,8 are reserved for OBC candidates.
The candidates claim that they have the backing of the Housing Minister Jayesh Salgaonkar, however, the latter has stated that he does not want to interfere in the panchayat election as most of the candidates in the fray are his supporters.
The door-to-door campaigning has gained momentum in the village with the candidates promising to focus on issues as regards panchayat ghar, football ground, road widening at Verem market, potholes, beautification of Quegdevelim beach and so on.
In ward number 6, the main issue is regarding fields with the candidates assuring support to farmers for re-cultivation of fallow fields.
In ward number 1, navy plays a major role and of 380 votes, the navy has 200 votes. Maya Gaonkar represented this ward which is reserved for a woman. There are three candidates in the fray and the major issues in the ward are regarding garbage, constructions near the navy precincts and so on.
The villagers have expressed the need for a new panchayat ghar, development of football ground, resolving water shortage issue. At Betim there are issues of tourist boat, traffic jam. Toilet and waiting shed facilities at the ferry wharf are the long pending issues.
Due to voltage fluctuation, the residents have also been demanding a power substation at Verem, so also there are demands for repair of the roads ridden with potholes, cleaning of drains etc. Traffic jam at Verem market is a regular sight and a bypass road was promised but it has not materialised.