Calangute residents want interim ban on large projects
Stating that basic infrastructure in Calangute has “completely collapsed”, a stormy gram sabha of the Calangute panchayat, on Sunday, unanimously adopted a resolution to temporarily ban all large building projects in the tourism hub until the problems of inadequate water and electricity supply are resolved.
Villagers pointed out that though many residential complexes, resorts, commercial buildings and other structures have been built in the last three-four decades, public utilities like water and electricity supply have remained the same. PWD water supply, they pointed out, is available for barely an hour and some areas don’t receive water for days on end.
Sarpanch Shawn Martins said they are working towards resolving the problems by building a new water storage facility at Umtavaddo. He also said that survey work for a new water pipeline from the proposed Guirim water treatment plant is also currently on. The situation will improve once these new facilities are ready, said.
Calangute comunidade attorney Anthony D’Souza said that there is a proposal to develop a water harvesting facility on 45,000 sqm of comunidade land at Boa Viagem.
“A survey undertaken by the water resources department revealed that a facility like this will help Calangute become self-sufficient in its water requirement,” he said. Some farmers cultivating the land, however, have opposed the plan. There was also a suggestion to develop a water treatment plant in Calangute.
The problem of haphazard parking and of garbage being dumped at various spots was also highlighted. Martins said door-to-door collection of garbage has been started, but that the panchayat is yet to cover the entire village.
He also said that a decision has been taken to install small garbage bins on all roadside electricity poles which tourists can use to dispose of empty water bottles and trash.
He further said that public garbage bins had become “dark spots” as cattle would push open the covers and rummage through them and due to indiscriminate dumping of garbage and hence, they had been removed.
Questions were also raised about the status of the sewerage treatment plant and the sewerage pipeline network. Villagers demanded that the panchayat inform the public about the completion date of the sewerage project work on which has been going on for the last five years. The sarpanch said he would hold a review meeting with the contractor.
Earlier, while the minutes of the last ordinary gram sabha, held on August 26, were being read out, villagers complained that the video CDs of the meeting have been edited to present a manipulated version of the gram sabha.
“This is a crime and murder of democracy,” Calangute constituency forum member PremanandDivkar said. Some villagers also alleged irregularities in tax collection saying that they had paid a higher amount than others.