Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nuvem infrastructure fails to keep pace with time

Nuvem infrastructure fails to keep pace with time
The awakening of Goan masses and its ripple effects....

MARGAO, MAY 19, 2008

- If Nuvem villagers are up in arms over the construction of 40 bungalows, the message is loud and clear for the powers that be - don’t issue indiscriminate licences for mega housing projects without taking into account basic infrastructure requirements.
It’s prime location on the NH-17 - right on the northern entrance to Margao — and the booming real estate is an indication that Nuvem is the destination for many a settler in Goa.
Sadly, many a local feels the infrastructure has not kept pace with the booming housing constructions mushrooming in Nuvem countryside.
Take for instance, the fish market. While one find bungalows perched on a hillock as one enters Nuvem from Margao, fisher folks continue to sell fish from a makeshift market right adjoining the highway - bringing to the fore the absence of basic infrastructure.
That the local MLA and Power Minister, Aleixo Sequeira has now taken up work on the proposed market is not in dispute, but the fact remains that infrastructure has failed to keep pace with the changing times in Nuvem, which is fast acquiring urban features.
Leave alone market facilities, the village is grappling with the garbage menace. No garbage disposal facility has been identified by the local body and locals wonder where the garbage generated in the new housing complexes would find their way in the absence of any dumpyard.
That agitated villagers are opposed to the mega project - relating to 40 bungalows with swimming pool facility — is an indication that the locals would no longer take things lying down now.
When contacted, Local MLA Alexio Sequeira said issuing construction licences is the domain of the local village Panchayat body. “It’ for the Panchayat to assess the infrastructural requirements before granting permissions for new constructions”, he added.
Nuvem Sarpanch, Antonio Barretto, who came under fire at the Sunday’s gram Sabha meeting, however, said that technical agencies such as the PWD and the Town and Country Planning department should guide the Panchayat body on technical and basic infrastructure such as roads, water, power et al.
“Why is the Panchayat blamed when these technical agencies approve the construction plans”, he asked and disclosed plans to approach the government to define the meaning of mega housing projects.
However, Town and Country Planning officials maintained that it’s purely for the local Panchayat body to evaluate the existing infrastructure and then only to forward the file for technical approval. “If the Panchayat feels so, the file can be returned back to the builder at the Panchayat level itself.”, a TCP official said.

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