Farmers cultivating the fields at the picturesque Salpem lake in Navelim have knocked on the doors of Water Resources department (WRD) Minister Subhash Shirodkar with a plea not to build the proposed road through the fields.
A delegation of the Salpem lake farmers called on the WRD Minister and handed over a memorandum with a request not to permit the construction of the public road as per the purported proposal made by Margao MLA Digambar Kamat.
They drew attention of the WRD Minister to the fact that the WRD has been given the land by the Acquisition Authority specifically for irrigation canal project.
Letters sent to farmers for demarcation in fields
“Recently, letters were sent to farmers by the government departments for demarcation in the acquired fields. After inquiring with Executive Engineers, it is revealed that a proposal has been raised to build a six-meter road, as per the request made by Digambar Kamat for the benefit of some residents of his constituency by destroying our Navelim fields,” the memorandum pointed out.
While making a plea to the WRD Minister to take serious note of the matter, the farmers were categorical in saying that the acquired land should not be misused.
“We want to place on record that ever since the canal was built, not a single drop of water was supplied. Earlier, the land was illegally acquired through fraudulent affidavits in the High Court for the Sewerage Department to build a buffer zone through our fields as a result of which the whole lake/fields have been polluted,” the farmers pointed out.
Farmers call for action
The farmers called upon the WRD Minister to take immediate action as per the law to restore the pristine paddy fields and the Salpem Lake to the farmers.
For the first time in the last 30 years, farmers from the Salpem lake have brought the fallow lands under cultivation with the help of the Paddy Man of Goa, Fr George Quadros.