MARGAO: Sunday saw people from all walks of life, including laymen, civil society, religious leaders, including priests and nuns, besides Opposition party leaders and MLAs all joining hands to sign on the petition at the Grace Church, Margao, lodging their strong objections to the Ms Laterite Resort proposed at Ella, Old Goa.
Save Old Goa Action Committee coordinator Peter Viegas sent a warning to the government not to wait for the boiling point to act and scrap the project proposed at the Old Goa heritage site, even as the Congress delegation led by Opposition Leader Yuri Alemao and Aam Aadmi Party MLA Cruz Silva lent their support to the agitation against the project.
More than 5000 people signed petitions
Over 5,000 people have signed the petitions objecting to the IPB project proposed at Ella, Old Goa, demanding that the government reconsider the project. People from neighbouring villages are believed to have also submitted their objections to the volunteers at the Grace Church premises.
Opposition leader, Yuri Alemao, who signed the objection along with MLA Altone D’Costa, Party president Amit Patkar, Olencio Simoes and Orville Dourado, later told the media that the Congress condemns the IPB’s decision to clear the project. “We have all come here to support the people opposing the project. We have to protect our heritage, more so when the Old Goa site has received recognition from UNESCO. The project is proposed inside the buffer zone near the Mount Chapel,” he said, while condemning the government for bringing the people on the roads.
Yuri added: “It is shameful that a resort is coming up in a heritage area. Instead of razing down the illegal bungalow at Old Goa with a bulldozer, the government is trying to bulldoze with the resort project at Old Goa. This is shameful. We will raise the issue in the House.”
GPCC chief Amit Patkar said the Congress party will stand by the people of Goa in opposing the ill-conceived project in a heritage zone. “The government should reconsider the project when the people are on the streets opposing the same. The Congress stands in solidarity with the people,” Patkar said.
Aam Aadmi Party Velim MLA Cruz Silva demanded that the government reconsider the resort project at Old Goa, when it is coming in the heritage zone.
Resort project worries church authorities
Fr Savio Fernandes, who had come to lodge his objection, saying the project is coming close to religious and heritage monuments at Old Goa. “The religious sanctity needs to be protected,” he said, while making an appeal to the people to sign the objections.
SOGAC coordinator Peter Viegas said over 5,000 people have signed the objections demanding the scrapping of the resort at Old Goa. “We would like to remind the government to rethink since the place is holy belonging to Goencho Saib. The project is coming just 100 metres away from the Mount Chapel,” he said.
He questioned: “Will the resort not sell liquor to the people visiting the place. Is the government not aware that this would hurt the religious sentiments of the minority community?”
Social activist Anthony D’Silva expressed his happiness that thousands of people have turned up to lodge their objections.