Comunidades have no records, details of encroachments



Even as the State government has announced it will move to protect homes built on comunidade land across Goa after a bunch of these are facing action from the respective managing committees in Canacona, Pernem and Saligao, it has now come to light that most of these comunidade bodies do not have ready records and details of encroachments in their jurisdictions.

Administrators of comunidades in the North, Central and South zone have all reported to the government that such records are not available with most of the managing committees of comunidades in their jurisdiction. They have also proposed that to ascertain these details, a specific time bound exercise (survey) will have to be undertaken for which the managing committees may need manpower and also police protection. 

"A survey is needed to know the exact number of encroachments and houses. The comunidades have informed that they have no manpower to conduct such a survey at present," an official in the comunidade Administrator's office said.

Meanwhile, the proposal for commissioning a survey to enlist and record illegal houses and encroachments on comunidade land across the State is pending with the government which is yet to take a call.

The issue shot into prominence recently, when dozens of people from Canacona who were issued demolition notices by the local comunidade approached Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to save their houses.

Sawant on his part took a stand that these structures facing the axe mostly belonged to local Goans and needed to be protected. He announced that the government will step in to protect these homes, even if it requires amendments in the Code of Comunidades and the Goa, Daman and Diu Land Revenue Code.

Sawant was, however, careful to state that slums and migrant ghettos will not get the benefit of this protection, although legal experts have opined that the State cannot make a distinction between Goans and non-Goans (migrants) in such matters as it violates Art 14 of the Constitution.

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