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Sanguem villagers say no to status of eco-sensitive areas

Curchorem : PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar on Sunday said the state government will try to impress upon the central government not to go ahead on acting upon the declaration of Goan villages as eco-sensitive areas of the Western Ghats.

Addressing villagers at a special gram sabha of the Kalay panchayat at Kalay, the minister said that several villages in Goa will be adversely affected due to their inclusion in the eco-sensitive areas.

“The government is serious on this issue and will stand by the people,” Pauskar said, expressing his willingness to help the villagers in taking a delegation and submitting a memorandum to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on the matter.

Sarpanch Kishore Dessai said that Kalay, Mavlinguem and Dudhal villages will entirely turn into eco-sensitive areas, which will put the villagers to great hardship.

“If the state government wants it can delist the villages from the eco-sensitive zone of Goa. A committee of the villagers will be constituted to follow up the issue,” he said.

Special gram sabhas were also held by other three panchayats – Ugem, Vaddem and Netravali – opposing the declaration of the villages as the eco-sensitive areas.

It is learnt that the Bhaati panchayat will hold a special gram sabha on matter on Monday.

An important public meeting will be held on November 24 at Sanguem and a report will be submitted to the Chief Minister, who will be urged to forward it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi before December 5.

It is understood that the central government  will take  a  final call on the matter on December 5.

Netravali deputy sarpanch Abhijit Desai said the villagers attending the gram sabha resolved to intensify the agitation till the villages are delisted as the eco-sensitive areas.

Former Vaddem sarpanch Sanjog Pai said that opposition to the eco-sensitive areas was unanimous at the special gram sabha.

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