Goa: Angry Morjim Locals Confront Panchayat On Draft Zoning Plan

Goa: Angry Morjim Locals Confront Panchayat On Draft Zoning Plan

Angry villagers question sarpanch for sidelining local MLA, supporting former MLA Dayanand Sopte over Pernem draft zoning plan.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 09:42 PM IST
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A group of residents confronting the sarpanch at the Morjim panchayat office on Tuesday. | The Goan Network

PERNEM: A group of angry locals from Morjim marched to the panchayat office on Tuesday and confronted the sarpanch and panchas over the Pernem draft zoning plan, demanding it should be scrapped entirely.

Led by Mayur Shetgaonkar from Green and Clean Morjim, the locals questioned the Sarpanch Mukesh Gadekar, Deputy Sarpanch Pavan Morje, Panchas Vilas Morje, Mandar Poke and Surekha Amit Shetgaonkar in the matter.

The altercation at the meeting

There was a heated discussion during the meeting as the residents kept questioning the role of Sarpanch Mukesh Gadekar, while Deputy Sarpanch Pavan Morje, Vilas Morje and Mandar Poke tried to pacify the residents.

Mayur Shetgaonkar questioned the sarpanch about his stand on the draft land zoning plan and sought to know why Gadekar did not wait till Monday, when Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had assured to convey his decision on the controversial land zoning plan.

The sarpanch was also questioned for going along with former MLA Dayanand Sopte for a meeting and wanted to know why he had sidelined local MLA Jit Arolkar. They insisted that Gadekar should cancel all land conversions done in Morjim so far and get the zoning plan for Morjim scrapped or else he (Gadekar) should resign from his post.

Gajanan Shetgaonkar stated if the government is really working for the welfare of the people of Pernem, it should have activated the 100-bedded hospital constructed by then chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

“Parsekar had taken initiative to build this hospital at a cost of Rs 52 crore at Tuem. This hospital should be started, and 50% jobs be given to Pednekars. Only then will we rethink on the zoning plan,” said Gajanan Shetgaonkar. Mayur Shetgaonkar said the panchayat should look into issues of locals and try to resolve them instead of seeking for publicity.

“The panchayat should study the draft zoning plan and see what is beneficial to the locals. Morjim faces water crises, narrow roads, power outages and nobody is bothered to resolve these issues,” said Mayur Shetgaonkar.

Row over draft zoning plan

“The draft zoning plan has to be cancelled. We will maintain the agitation and intensify it, if the plan is not scrapped,” warned Mayur Shetgaonkar.Morjim Sarpanch Mukesh Gadekar assured the residents that he is with them. “I am also trying to persuade the government to cancel the current zoning plan and prepare a new one by taking locals of Pernem taluka into confidence,” said Gadekar.

Commenting on his presence with former MLA Dayanand Sopte, Gadekar clarified that the minister had invited the Morjim panchayat.

“Former MLA Dayanand Sopte had decided to meet all nine panchayats, so why should Morjim panchayat shy away? That’s why we met the minister and discussed the issue with him,” explained Gadekar.

The Morjim Sarpanch appealed to the locals to be united and to stop selling their land to outsiders.

The panchayat later agreed to send a proposal to the government requesting the cancellation of the draft zoning plan.

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