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Streetlights, development works discussed at Cavelossim gram sabha

CAVELOSSIM: The Cavelossim gram sabha on Sunday saw villagers take up several issues including streetlights that are not turned off, revision of taxes for small and medium hoteliers and resorts, and development works taken up around the village. The village forum group was however disappointed that the issue of unloading of fish was not discussed as the sarpanch said that the matter was pending in the court.

Informing the gram sabha of the problems faced by streetlights, sarpanch Dionizio Dias assured villagers that the streetlights issue will be resolved within two months. Locals said that linemen were not willing to repair the LED lights as it was not their job as well as the lights remaining on even during the day despite various complaints.

“At the moment, there is a private agency that is handling the streetlights in the state. Some are with the tourism department. We have spoken to the Power Minister who said he was working on a plan to sort out the entire issue. Thanks to the minister, now after eight months, we have a full time JE (Junior Engineer),” said Dias.

He also said that he was working on a plan to illuminate a stretch of Cavelossim close to Leela Hotel that is currently in darkness and was a major concern for tourists.

Discussions were also held on revision of taxes for locals running guest houses.

A local resident Edwin Baretto said, “Most of the small and medium hoteliers in our village are locals and are operational only during the tourist season which is about six months. Imposing a tax of Rs 1,000 may be too much for us in such a situation and therefore it should be reverted to Rs 500”.

The sarpanch assured the locals that their views will be taken into consideration and said he would call for a meeting with stakeholders before implementing the tax revision. He also added that taxes for starred resorts would be increased by 20 percent, a decision that was unanimously approved.

Residents belonging to the Cavelossim Village Forum (CVF) were disappointed after a question relating to the panchayat issuing a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Mobor Fisheries involved in unloading of fish along the riverbank. Though a letter to take up the issue for discussion was sent, the sarpanch refused to take up the issue for discussion citing that the matter was in court.

Speaking after the gram sabha, CVF president Iris Passanha, pointed out that unloading of fish on the riverbank is illegal, said, “Because the panchayat did not take any action we took the matter to court, but despite the same an NoC was issued. In this case the owner has filed an eviction suit that is still under court proceedings. The panchayat has done a grave illegality by issuing the NOC.”

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