AROSSIM-CANSAULIM VILLAGERS CONDEMN SOUTH GOA COLLECTOR FOR FAILING TO MEET THEM AND TO COMPLY WITH NGT ORDERS

PANAJI: The residents of Arossim and Cansaulim villages are enraged with the South Goa Collector for failing to meet them for the past two days, despite the villagers waiting for hours outside his office.

The villagers have been fighting for over 12 years to save their villages from the threats created by huge hotels planned in the ecologically sensitive CRZ areas of their villages. The villagers are demanding that the water bodies, flood-water nallahs, and low-lying fields must be conserved in view of the
threat of global warming, increasing sea levels and intensity and frequency of storms and floods in the future.

Arossim village is threatened by a huge Hotel proposed by a Delhi-based corporation, in the low-lying areas within CRZ. This hotel will require
destruction of 11 ponds, the main nallahs draining the flood waters of Arossim village into the Arabian Sea and the low-lying fields that retain the flood waters, the villagers said.

As a result, the entire flood prevention system of the village will be destroyed. However, due to the tireless efforts of the villagers, the Principal Bench of the NGT ordered on 24/09/2020 that the Collector is the authority to demarcate these resources and to protect them. The villagers have accordingly written to the Collector, South Goa on 13/11/2020 to carry out his duty and abide with the orders of the NGT, but he has not
taken any action till date, placing the entire village under threat of annihilation in the future.

The villagers have sworn to prevent the destruction of their village for the short-term profits of a few. The villagers are also questioning the role of the Government, which instead of protecting the villages and the people, seems most interested in serving corporations and their greed. The villagers are determined to protect their village and take whatever action is necessary to do so, in accordance with the Constitution of India and their duty towards the future generations.

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