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Illegal construction works bulldoze faith with the hill, claim Cuncolim locals

27 Jul 2021 | 06:36am IST

Illegal construction works bulldoze faith with the hill, claim Cuncolim locals


VIJAY DESSAI


CUNCOLIM: Land developers leveled age-old Cacnamoddi Hill for allegedly illegal construction of houses and sophisticated residential complexes. Apart from failure of Cuncolkar’s prolonged protest to save the beauty and the nature of Cuncolim, the act has apparently bulldozed their faith as this hill also borne religious importance for the locals.

Cuncolkars believe in Uskini Aazo, a soul of ancestors, whom they call Rakhandar. Cuncolkars believe Rakhandar is protecting them from all evils and taking care of the village. Just below the hill, at Rakhandar Ghumti, Cuncolkars—Hindu and Catholic—devotees come to take blessings from Uskini Aazo. People believe that Rakhandar is watching Cuncolim village sitting on a huge marble stone at the peak of the hill.

The hill cutting crushed that stone that agitated the Cuncolkars. Cuncolkars say,”Rakhandar will take revenge of this destruction and will not spare those who encroached into his territory.” Villagers on Monday evening attended hearing on illegal hill cutting. Chief Officer Violet Gomes heard both parties but the verdict was reserved.

Twenty odd houses are constructed at the northern side of the hill and despite of several complaints to CMC, municipal officers remained unresponsive to them. Rumours are rife that that each illegal house owner has paid handsome bribe to get electricity and water connection.

On other side developers are developing land for residential complex. On the top of the hill two parties did hill cutting on the name of construction. “It’s strange how TCP and local municipality issued them licenses to bulldoze the age-old mountain,” said villagers

“Complaint is filed against only one party. CMC must enquire and do a thorough survey of the hill and must take strict action against all parties, who are involved in hill cutting. It was not a just hill for Cuncolkars, it's our faith and we will not spare those who hurt our sentiments,” said one of the agitated Cuncolkar.

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