Villagers oppose mega housing projects in Goa

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Benaulim (Goa), May 19 : Villagers of Benaulim in Goa have risen up in arms against mega housing projects.

The residents resolved to oppose mega housing projects tooth and nail and decided to form a committee to take up the legal battle against housing projects.

The forum opposed construction of roads through paddy fields, fearing devastation of agriculture and turning the green into a concrete jungle.

"When tourists come to Goa, they are welcomed with the mega building projects and no trees at all. The beaches have been polluted with garbage. This all is because of mega projects coming in. There are so many five-star hotels and these hotels themselves have to bring water from the tankers. Now, if these mega projects come, from where are they going to get water? Are the tankers going to supply water or government is going to have special reservoir built for them," said Jeraldine Fernandes, a member of the Benaulim Villagers Action Committee.

Residents say that they are not opposed to individual housing, but were against landlords selling their property for mega housing projects.

"A historic decision was taken on January 26, 2007 in the Benaulim Gram Sabha, when it was decided that no mega housing project would be allowed from this day on. We have no objections to landlords selling their property by making smaller plots of up to 800 meters each. The idea was to block mega housing project, not to block the landlord from selling his property," said Ciriaco Barretto, chairman of the Benaulim Residents Consumer Forum.

The State Government earlier this year had to scrap the controversial Regional Plan 2011, which saw stiff agitation and protests across the state.

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