Local Goa News

Monday, May 23, 2016

GOA SOLD: 200 hou­ses illegally built in Pedamol comunidade land by migrants

Power, water provided on urgent basis; ruling party linked comunidade attorney’s hand suspected in sale of land, government knows but is silent

MARGAO: This could well be the mother of the Monte Hill land grab. In fact it could be the mother of all comunidade land grabs in Goa. There are 200 houses built in violation of all norms, on the land of the Shirvoi Comunidade, in Pedamol and they have no sale deeds.
These houses have been constructed on and illegally “sold” mainly to migrants from Karnataka, obviously with the direct connivance with influential people in the comunidade. Over the last six years, houses have been constructed, almost entirely by migrants. One can only see Karnataka registered vehicles in these areas. Still, the local administration treats this land scam like a sleeping dog. It just allows it to lie.
The houses presently standing in Pedamol have no documents. Some people here are from Margao Monte hill and rest are from Karwar, Kumta, Bhatkal and other areas.
The Mamlatdar had conducted a survey and prepared a report detailing the illegalities, a year ago. According to him (see box), this report has been lying with the Deputy Collector for well over a year now with no action taken. This is a repeat of the manner in which illegal encroachments have been allowed to flourish in Monte hill.
But while the beneficiaries of this illegal largesse are non-Goan migrants, their benefactor is very much Goan, and a man whose duty is to protect comunidade land from being misused. This Pedamol land has seen a keeper of the Comunidade, who himself has facilitated the grabbing of this huge land mass. Pedamol was once a place known for its Dhangar community inheritance. But now it has turned into mini Monte hill like Margao and is soaring by the day.
The role of the husband of a former Councillor of the Quepem Municipal Council, who has been affiliated to BJP Goa, has surfaced in this case for being a player in the wholesale selling of this land mass. He happens to be the attorney of the Shirvoi Comunidade. The rampant “sale” of comunidade land under his watch has happened in Survey number 96/1 (about one lakh square metres) and 88/1 (93,359 square metres of land)
The original habitants of this land, who have been living here by means of cashew plantation and animal herding, were fighting a case in Quepem court, against some persons who were claiming rights on these lands. The Court while deciding on the case had maintained the rights of 12 of the inhabitants, but other than having a house the court denied them from any other rights to the land. But the court had also mandated the people not to obstruct the tenants of this land while executing any job. This very case had given the Attorney his rights to the survey number of the land.
Obeying the Court order several people who the Court did not give rights, had surrendered their land to the comunidade in the past. But the attorney of this comunidade sold this very land to several non-Goans, in a manner not permissible. Comunidade land cannot be transferred or bought by anyone whatsoever. In the seven and a half years gone by, this land now has over 200 houses standing tall on the property.
Goans have to run from pillar to post to get power and water connections but not for these houses. These houses have got power and water connections on urgent and important basis.
Elections of the state are near and there is a possibility that they also get ration cards and election cards of the Government of Goa. A social worker has also gone ahead and even presented an ambulance to this group of houses.
But this fraud will not be restricted to Pedamol alone. The move of the Government to regularise illegal houses is now set to finish the Comunidade lands of the state illegally usurped by, like the one in Pedamol. Several people have handed over their lands to Comunidades in the past. Now there are moves to convert these lands and make residential plots of the same and sell them subsequently.
The government sees all this but is a shameless spectator allowing the sale of Goa, bit by bit.

Herald Goa News

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