Villagers of Betalbatim and Majorda are up in arms over a proposal to convert paddy fields spread across the two villages, admeasuring 46,000 square meters, into settlement for a hotel project.
The villagers’ agitation has received the backing of Revolutionary Goans with its leader Manoj Parab extending all support to the people of the two villages in opposing the conversion of the agricultural fields.
A resident of Majorda Teotonio D’Costa has suspected the hand of a minister in the dealing. He said the minister was also part of the government in 2012 and was behind selling the paddy fields of Betalbatim and Majorda to a Mumbai-based party to build a hotel.
Incidentally, Betalbatim Sarpanch Constancio Miranda, who was present at the spot, assured the villagers that the panchayat would submit its objection to the proposal to convert the paddy fields into a settlement zone. The villagers have vowed not to allow the fields to be converted into settlement.
Teotonio told the media that a huge portion of the land falls in the no-development zone, which plays host to sand dunes and fields.
The villagers claimed that some persons had purchased the paddy fields from the owners on the pretext of using it for agriculture and cultivating paddy.
The paddy fields are spread across an area admeasuring 46,000 square meters, and the Mumbai-based company has now applied for conversion to build the hotel project.
Revolutionary Goans leader Manoj Parab has said the organization will back the villagers to stop the conversion of the paddy fields into settlement.
Parab said the owners of the paddy fields should use the land for agriculture only, adding that the villagers will never allow the conversion of the land for the hotel project.
The villagers have now decided to undertake a signature campaign to oppose the proposal to convert the land to settlement.