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Government quarters across Cuncolim are in the ruins

Government quarters across Cuncolim are in the ruins

Need renovation so that the structures are used for productive purpose

VIJAY DESSAI

CUNCOLIM: State Government is quite vocal against encroachers of government lands and properties seem to be blissfully ignorant about the government-owned buildings and quarters lying in dilapidated conditions, few at the verge of collapse. In Cuncolim Constituency there are more than 20 such government quarters that need renovation. Neither the elected representatives are seen bothered about this waste of public wealth nor are the concerned government officers feeling the pinch of it. Herald found out those abandoned residential buildings and tried to throw light on the slipups of the government officers. In Cuncolim Constituency, Electricity Department had constructed 20 quarters for its staff at Shimpler, close to the power substation. Purpose of this project was to keep the engineers and other staff close to the power station so that they can monitor and give uninterrupted power to the public. Strangely all the quarters lay vacant as none of the engineers or staff had availed that facility even for a day. Some of these quarters are instead converted into store rooms while few are turned into booth bungalows. Huge trees have grown up on the roofs, windows and doors are broken, tiles are gone and some are about to collapse. Dilapidated structures are lying unattended with wild grass around it but no one cares to clean that area. Power substation is functioning in the same campus but none of the employees, who are regular to the campus, are bothered about ill-maintained part. When Herald tried to question some officers they steered clear that it was not their duty to look after the government properties. One of the officers even passed the buck to the PWD department that renovate and maintain such structures. The officer also blamed one who planned and executed the project. Some of this Quarters can be repaired and renovated and can be used for good purpose. People are demanding to handover these quarters to local municipality and use it to develop a library or for other recreational activities. They even suggested leasing them out to self help groups to start some business activities. Fortunately with the hard efforts of Local MLA Clafacio Dias one of the structures belongs to Electricity department will be used for fire station. Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant has issued directives to Electricity Department to hand over the building to Fire and Emergency services to set up fire station at Cuncolim. This proposal has already got the cabinet nod and the structure will be soon renovated to establish a Fire Station. Now locals are demanding to use other structures also for similar activities so that the place gets a facelift and public funds rightly utilised. Like electricity department Health departments quarters are also lying unused and unattended. Some years ago government has constructed twenty odd dwellings for the doctors, nurses and also for other health employees. But this project too suffered the same fate. There are no takers for quarters at PHC Balli and some of the apartments are at the verge of collapse. Herald tried to dig deep on why government servants are hesitating to avail these facilities and it was told by the few employees that the rent are too high and they are in the outskirts. Fortunately some of the panch members of Balli Village panchayat made proposal to start a cold storage under the RDA scheme for self help groups. DyCm Chandrakant Kavlekar and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane have accepted the proposal in principle. When Rane, on his recent visit to Balli village was asked bout the future of the abandoned quarters, he said Department is working on different proposals and one was to handover one structure to RDA to set up cold storage under RDA scheme for self help group. Rane assured government will renovate all structures. Rane also said government is committed to use infrastructure for good cause.

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