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Chimbel villagers demand spl gram sabha to discuss PDA inclusion

Chimbel villagers demand spl gram sabha to discuss PDA inclusion

13 Feb 2018 No comment 4 hits

Panaji: Chimbel villagers have urged their panchayat to hold a special gram sabha to discuss the proposed inclusion of some parts of the village in the jurisdiction of the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority for planning purpose.
In an official gazette notification dated December 21, 2017 the town and country planning (TCP) department included land in Chimbel falling under survey numbers 40, 41 and 42 into the Bambolim planning area along with St Cruz, Bambolim, Merces, Carambolim and other villages. “We were totally in the dark about it and want the issue to be thrashed out at a special gram sabha,” Tukaram Kunkolkar, a local activist said.

The Chimbel Gram Seva Kala ani Sanskrutik Manch (CGSKSM) has drawn the panchayat’s attention to the government’s proposal. “This development will have unforeseen and enormous effects on the village’s identity, culture and environment,” the group’s vice-president Govind Shirodkar, said.

The manch has called for a special gram sabha as the areas proposed for inclusion are mostly ecologically sensitive, including the Chimbel lake and hill slopes along the Old Goa-Panaji bypass road. “A large area forms part of the Chimbel lake catchment and has a steep gradient. This is a no development zone,” Kunkolkar said.

The Chimbel lake was tapped by the Portuguese government for a short while to supply water to Panaji city. It was abandoned after the Opa water supply scheme begun in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Sarpanch Chandrakant Kunkolkar, conceded that the panchayat was not aware about the PDA’s proposal. “We were not informed about the inclusion (of the village’s areas in proposed PDA),” he said. He was, however, non-committal about holding the gram sabha. “We will look into it,” he said.

The area west of the Chimbel lake originally belonged to agriculture department and served as a demonstration area for farmers to promote horticulture and other activities. But locals alleged that a minister was instrumental in first transferring the land, which comprises perennial water bodies, to the health department to set up a health city. They added that the BJP-led government subsequently proposed an information technology park there.

Villagers are opposed to the IT park proposal on the grounds that land in Chimbel is scarce.

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Source: Chimbel villagers demand spl gram sabha to discuss PDA inclusion

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