The members of Velsao- Pale-Issorcim panchayat, which also included sarpanch Henriques D’Mello and deputy sarpanch Sylvia D’Souza, on Thursday alleged that Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha was being misguided by experts from Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) over construction of the proposed hotel project at Velsao.
Addressing a press conference in Vasco, sarpanch D’Mello along with deputy sarpanch D’Souza, panch members Nandita Dayal, Ashok Souza, Santano Lucas, Custodio Barretto, and Bernadett Teodosio clarified that the panchayat members and secretary were not intimated in advance about the inspection held by Cortalim MLA Saldanha and GCZMA experts on May 28.
“The panchayat body has passed the file of the hotel project as the project proponents have all the approvals from the concerned authorities and there is no illegality in the project,” claimed sarpanch D’Mello and other ruling members.
“It is true that on March 31, 2018, the panchayat body issued a construction licence for the hotel project having technical clearance from the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department and approvals from GCZMA, Environment Ministry and other authorities,” said D’Mello.
“Few disgruntled villagers opposed the project for reasons best known to them and levelled unethical charges against the panchayat body,” he added.
He said that it is strange to note that the GCZMA hurriedly held a site inspection by intimating the panchayat office just a few moments prior to the inspection and without inviting the proponents.
“What followed at site inspection was surprising. GCZMA expert member went on record, making vague allegations without verifying official documents or giving me and the ward member an opportunity of a say,” he said.