Photo Credits: Anil Shankhwalkar
It was meant to be a complex for the tribal welfare department and several other amenities, but the proposed Tribal Bhavan in Porvorim is literally nowhere in sight and the space allotted to the project is now being used to stock brand new vehicles.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had laid the foundation stone for the Tribal Bhavan on August 13, 2021, in the presence of Tribal Welfare Minister Govind Gaude, Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ganesh Gaokar, and the President of UTTA Prakash Velip.
This project is to be constructed at a prime location by the side of the Service Road and opposite the Sanjay School on 2,200 sq. mtrs of land belonging to the Serula Communidade at a cost of Rs 40 crore.
The proposed Tribal Bhavan has been planned to comprise shops, hostel, library, wedding hall and other facilities. The corporations and commissions connected with the tribal welfare department are likely to be accommodated in the Bhavan.
While laying the foundation stone, Sawant has said the project would be completed within two years.
Tribal Welfare Minister Govind Gaude had mentioned during his speech at the event that the Tribal Bhavan would be constructed by Tribal Welfare department and rent received from shops and wedding hall would be utilised for the maintenance of the Tribal Bhavan.
“It took nearly three-and-half years to finalise this project. Students residing in places like Canacona find it difficult to pursue higher studies for want of accommodation in Panaji. Hence, a provision of hostel facilities for girls and boys has been made in the Tribal Bhavan,” Gaude had said at the time.
Over one-and-half year has passed and there is no sign of the project. The space allotted to the Tribal Bhavan is now being utilised to park and unload new vehicles by an automobile company.
When contacted, Tribal Welfare Minister Govind Gaude mentioned that Tribal Bhavan is one of his dream projects and he has been eagerly awaiting its completion.
“Unfortunately, some people have filed an objection to this project and the matter is pending in Mamlatdar’s court and tribunal. As a result, construction work could not be started. Some people unnecessarily create obstacles in development activities of the state. Unless and until the court matter is completed, the construction will not start,” said Gaude.
A representative of tribal community said the tribal community of Goa comprises sons of the soil.
“Having a dedicated centre that caters to their requirement will benefit tribals like Gaudas, Kunbis and Velips of Goa,” the representative said.
Attorney of Serula communidade Peter Martins said the Serula Comunidade had already issued its no-objection certificate to the State government for the construction of Tribal Bhavan.
“The Serula Comunidade is not against this project, as is being rumoured by some people. Since I am an office bearer of the Serula Comunidade, I have been made party to this case in the court and I have had to shell out money unnecessarily to my advocate to defend myself in the court,” said Martins.
As a result of the objections, the ambitious Tribal Bhavan has an uncertain future and there is no indication as to when this matter will be decided by the court. Members of the Tribal community are, however, eagerly awaiting the completion of this project.