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Proposed commercial project, a boon or bane for Cuncolim?

23 Jun 2016 | 06:07am IST

Proposed commercial project, a boon or bane for Cuncolim?

The Rs 9 cr project proposed in Cuncolim is being debated by the villagers, some of who say the land is not right for it while others contend it will raise the image of Cuncolim

Will the multi crore proposed commercial project bring a new look to the Historical town of Cuncolim? Will this project bring floods in Cuncolim? Will this project be completed in one year? These are some questions being asked by Cuncolkars.

It is learnt from sources that one NGO is planning to challenge this project in the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Some activists claim there is a need of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before starting this project. NGO members’ contention is that the area where the project is coming up is a low lying area. Activists are of the opinion that if this project comes up on this site there will be a risk of floods. The land, which was acquired by the government for a commercial project, is an agricultural land and a low lying area. This field, where the project is proposed, acts as a channel for smooth flowing of rain water. There is a heated debate among residents regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the project.

Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA) has sanctioned Rs 9 crore to the proposed project. This land was acquired when the former MLA Joaquim Alemao was the Urban Development Minister during the Congress rule. The plan was to construct a commercial building to shift all the shops located on the Cuncolim-Quepem Road. Some of the shopkeepers were unwilling to shift and the project was shelved for eight years. The present MLA, Rajan Naik, took the initiative of reviving this project and reopened the file gathering dust at the GSUDA office. The foundation stone (see pic) for this project was laid recently on the birthday of Rajan Naik in the presence of CM Laxmikant Parsekar and DyCM Francisco D’Souza.

Incidentally this land is known as Aoghad which means 'Deep' in vernacular language. In rainy season water gets accumulated in this field and then flows through the nullah across the NH17. Project experts and the local MLA say they will make provisions to drain out the rain water. The ground level is proposed to be used for underground parking. Since the proposed project will be a multi-storey building, underground parking facility will be provided, it is learnt.

MLA Rajan Naik claims that this commercial project will act as an inspiration to give a facelift to the Cuncolim market and will also give a new look to Cuncolim Town. BJP supporters are praising this project. Even technical experts are saying there will not be any water hazard on the site and that this project will benefit the local council to raise their revenue. On the other side, social activists are against the proposed project. They say that the government is destroying the ecological balance in the name of development and are opposed to any development by destroying nature.

MLA Naik is confident on completion of this project while those opposing are expecting they will get justice from NGT to save ecology.

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