Last week’s inspection of the ongoing river Sal desilting along the Assolna-Chinchinim stretch of the river has thrown up a question or two for the authorities to answer -- whether river Sal is now the latest ground for sand extraction?
Indeed, when the vessel carrying Velim MLA Cruz Silva, besides officials of the Captain of Ports and Forest department was moving along the Assolna-Durga-Chinchinim stretch, they came across a vessel anchored in the river with green pipes. Even the officials are believed to have clicked photographs of the vessel anchored in the river, but questions remain about whether any action is initiated to get to the root of the issue and whether the vessel was involved in sand extraction.
The presence of the vessel has become a talking point in the villages of Assolna and Chinchinim, so much so the local Durga panch of Chinchinim panchayat Gerson Gomes has been questioned by the locals to find out whether the vessel has anything to do with illegal sand mining.
When contacted, Gerson informed that it is a fact that when the inspection vessel with the MLA and officials was heading towards Durga from Assolna, they came across the vessel anchored in the river.
“After it was approached by the local people, I have decided to take up the matter with the Velim MLA as well as the Chinchinim panchayat,” he informed.
He added: “Since officials of the Captain of Ports and others had participated in the inspection, we are sure they must have taken cognizance of the vessel anchored in the river and initiated action. We will also seek details from the Captain of Ports.”
The panchayat member, however, said that the locals believe that sand mining is taking place in the river, adding that the concerned authorities should verify the reports and initiate action.
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