24.04.2008 - Demolition threats 2
Locals in Agonda have stepped up activities to safeguard their houses from the threat of demolitions, in connection with Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) violations.
It may be recalled that the panchayat, acting on the high court directives, had issued show cause notices to around 185 structures, which have allegedly come up after 1991 within 200 mtrs of high tide line off Agonda shore.
The Gram Sabha, slated for April 27, is likely to witness a heated debate after 50-60 affected locals marched to the panchayat office last Monday and submitted a memorandum to the sarpanch to drop the notices.
The locals have undertaken hectic activities, including visits to advocates to politicians to save their structures.
It is learnt that some locals are strongly contending that their age-old huts or repaired houses (especially of fisher-folks and toddy-tappers) are still sans house numbers, which has been thwarted by concerned influential landlords.
“As these thatched huts are not even shown on index and survey plans due to the influence of people at positions at that time, the locals are now forced to face the show cause notices for no fault of theirs,” Panch Tippu Pagi told Herald.
Reacting to criticism for having issued the show-cause notices, Sarpanch Jovi Fernandes said: “Whoever occupies the sarpanch chair at this time in coastal villages has to compulsorily go through this exercise.”
He expressed his helplessness to stop the CRZ process, but assured the aggrieved locals that after debating their memorandum in forthcoming Gram Sabha, to forward the same to the government as an SOS to rescue the niz Goencars (original Goans) from catastrophe.
“The public should be aware that no panchayat in Goa or even municipalities are empowered to change the course of action other than to follow the directives issued by head of departments in view of the order passed by high court,” Mr Fernandes said.