Thursday 30 May 2024

Activists vow to continue stir till Old Goa structure is razed

Demand probe into officials who aided 'fraud'

THE GOAN NETWORK | MARCH 24, 2023, 12:41 AM IST
Activists vow to continue stir   till Old Goa structure is razed

Social activists waging a movement for the demolition of the illegal bungalow at the Heritage site at Old Goa addressing the media after their protests in Delhi.

Photo Credits: Santosh Mirajkar

MARGAO

Asserting its demand for the demolition of the illegal structure, restoration of the land to ground zero and recover costs from those who have committed this grave illegality, by following process of law, but without any more unnecessary errors or delays, the Citizens Committee has vowed to take the agitation against the illegal structure at the Old Goa heritage site to the logical conclusion.

After returning to Goa after holding a protest in the national capital, members of the committee demanded an investigation into the department and find out the officers who aided and abetted this fraud and ensure that such misrepresentation and fraud on the department cannot ever happen again through departmental reform. 

Addressing the media, Anthony D’Silva said the citizens delegation have submitted memorandums to the Prime Minister’s Office, ASI and the Art and Culture office in Delhi in support of their demand for the demolition of the illegal Old Goa structure.

The citizens further demanded that the State Immediately mark the ASI and State Heritage sites in the Regional Plan and all ODPs so that permissions can be granted on the basis of maps and zones. 

It has also called for holding training for the state planners and conservation committee or replace the so-called technical members with people who have actual knowledge of conservation regulations so they do not give incorrect advice anymore. 

In the memorandum to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the citizens pointed out they have been working very hard to give the government the benefit of doubt in this issue. “We had convinced the senior citizens on hunger strike to disband for the duration of monsoon 2022. There is massive public support for demolishing the illegal bungalow as your ministers in Goa are well aware, and people are threatening to agitate once again! We are trying our level-best to avoid a law and order situation and are asking the department to make the necessary reforms in the public interest at the earliest’, the memorandum said.

It added: “Goa illegal construction that is standing for almost three years now reflects badly on your motto of “”Corruption-Free India”. The ASI, a department under your federal ministry of Culture and the state TCP has a duty to ensure that justice is done, and the law upheld”, the memorandum to the PM stated.

Social activists  Anthony D’Silva, Pratima Coutinho, Shankar Polgi, Sheikh Iftiaz, Glen Cabral vowed to take the battle to its conclusion. D’Silva warned of a major protest in the near future if the government does not pay heed to their protest held at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

They pointed out that nothing prevents the government from carrying out the demolition of the Old Goa structure at the UNESCO declared heritage site. “Our struggle will continue till the bungalow is razed”, they warned.


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