MAPUSA: While the Calangute panchayat has initiated moves to remove illegal shanties in the village, the local residents are not convinced, especially considering the past record of the panchayat vis-à-vis the promise to close down the dance bars.
The villagers alleged that shanties come up with the blessings of politicians even as they admitted that local Goans encourage illegal structures to earn an extra buck.
A resident of Gauravaddo, Calangute, Antonio De Souza said the decision to remove illegal shanties was a political gimmick just like the assurance given to close dance bars in the village.
“This exercise is an eye wash...Everyone knows who benefits from these illegal shanties all over Calangute in every ward...They have come up over the years with the blessings of ward members,” De Souza said.
“He will not be able to demolish a single basti. Take my word for that. He is only playing to the gallery,” said D’Souza, who is a resident of Naikavaddo, Calangute. He said around six months back he had written to the local panchayat and the Calangute police to take action against illegal shanties in his ward but nothing happened.
“When I complained about an illegal shanty next to my house in Naikavaddo, the sarpanch only conducted a superficial inspection to probably satisfy me but failed to remove the illegal structures,” he said.
Last month, Calangute Sarpanch Joseph Sequeira in a public notice had directed the owners of all illegal structures to remove the huts/stalls failing which action would be taken and the shanties would be removed.
He followed it up by writing to Collector North asking for police protection to remove the illegal shanties.
Decision needs to be implemented on a serious note
Welcoming the decision to get rid of the shanties, Calangute Constituency Forum President Premanand Diukar stressed on the “implementation” of the decision.
“It is a good decision, but it needs to be implemented seriously. We have been raising the issue about the mess created by the migrants and the illegal shanties for the last several years at the gram sabha,” Diukar said.
He said the release of waste water and open defecation indulged by the migrants led to various diseases in the village.