Tuesday 23 Jul 2024

4 years on, work on Krishi Ghar yet to begin in Canacona

BERNARD FERNANDES | APRIL 18, 2024, 01:30 AM IST

It was a project which had been demanded by the farming community in Canacona taluka for over two decades and the foundation stone for the Krishi Ghar was finally laid in 2020.

Four years on, work on the complex for the Zonal Agricultural Office (ZAO) is yet to begin at Chaudi-Canacona.

THE PROJECT

The foundation stone for the Krishi Ghar, a Rs 3.6 crore multi-utility ZAO project, was laid by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on October 30, 2020 in the presence of then Dy Chief Minister Chandrakant (Babu) Kavlekar and then Dy Speaker Isidore Fernandes.

The Krishi Ghar, a ground-plus-two storeyed complex, was to have been constructed on 7,000 sq. mtrs of land near the NH66 highway and opposite the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Sheller near Chaudi-Canacona.

Incidentally, a part of this gated property is presently used as an Agri-Nursery by the ZAO, which has hundreds of coconut saplings.

At the time, Director of Agriculture Nevil Alphonso had informed that the Krishi Ghar would would be built in two phases.

In the first phase, to have been completed in one-and-half years, Alphonso had said the Krishi Ghar would have a ground plus two floors, for use as a fertiliser store, seed store, administrative section, seminar-cum-multipurpose hall, record room and guest rooms.

The second phase, he added, would include a farmers market with cold storage unit, demonstration plot for field and horticulture crops, nursery and exhibition plots.

Speaking after unveiling the plaque, CM Sawant had said the new complex would have a dedicated place for local farmers to sell their locally grown produce.

Stating the Krishi Ghar would be a ‘Signature Project’, the chief minister had stated that the complex would also house the animal husbandry department.

He had also assured that Training and Skill Development would also be imparted to farmers at the complex, to ensure that farmers generate a minimum of Rs 3 lakh income every year.

THE DELAY

Former Canacona MLA and then Dy Speaker Isidore Fernandes has alleged that certain elements in the BJP did not allow the contractor to begin the work, and claimed that the project was shelved after a change-in-guard following his loss in the assembly elections.

“It is unfortunate that due to my consistent efforts and personal requests to the chief minister, the project which was approved, tendered and finances released, was totally misconstrued by the new regime. However, I am sure that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will not deny this project for the farming community in Canacona and will take complete it soon,” Fernandes told The Goan.

When contacted, Canacona Zonal Agricultural Officer and Assistant Director (Agriculture) Nagesh Komarpant said the Rs 3.68 crore project was shelved after the contractor failed to begin the works on grounds that the tendered rate was not feasible.

“Moreover, a team of experts from Goa Engineering College has also raised queries on the low-lying land, where construction was to have been taken up. The agriculture department has now re-planned the entire project and prepared a revised estimate, which has covered every technical and financial aspect. This project is in the final stages of the tendering process and work on the Krishi Ghar is likely to be initiated in due course,” said Komarpant, who is also OSD to Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar.


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