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Varca holds its ground on jurisdiction of Zalor beach

Varca: Discussions on the jurisdiction of the Zalor beach dominated the Varca gram sabha held on Sunday with villagers holding their ground citing the official documents.

Villagers and panchayat body members said that Carmona was a landlocked village and the villagers were forcibly stopping development work on the beach.

Informing villagers of a recent incident where the Carmona panchayat and villagers had “stopped” the tourism department from installing toilets on the beach, panch member and former sarpanch Roland Fernandes said that they were willing to amicably resolve the issue but also added that they would file complaints if necessary.

“The tourism department had sought permission from us to put up toilets which we issued, but when they came to put them up, Carmona villagers stopped them. This is obstruction of development work and in the future if any such problem arises, we will file complaints with police. We had asked them to sit with us and amicably resolve the issue, but nobody is approaching,” he said.

He also informed that cases would be filed against the Carmona panchayat if any house numbers were issued to houses in the area.

“As per the survey maps, the entire beach stretch is listed under Varca as Fatrade beach. Carmona doesn’t have a beach and is a landlocked village. All the revenue from this stretch has been coming to the Varca panchayat and if the Carmona panchayat claims that it has earned revenue from there, it is illegal. If there are any house numbers issued, they are also illegal and we will take the secretary to task,” said Fernandes.

The issue of drafting of the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) was also raised at the meeting. A special committee constituted specifically for the purpose informed that work on the plan had already begun and was expected to be completed by

Tuesday.

“Turbosketch, a surveying company in the state was appointed to do the mapping. It has already done a survey of the area by a drone and is now marking specific features like the sand dunes, fields etc. The work is expected to be completed by Tuesday and will be presented at a special gram sabha at a later date,” said Elvino Furtado, a member of the committee.

A special committee was also formed for preparing an action plan for water conservation measures to be initiated in the village. This comes in response to the central government’s Jal Shakti initiatives.

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