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People Police

LOO & BEHOLD: Where are the toilets in Mr Rane’s Valpoi?



Devendra Gaonkar/ Team The Goa Spotlight

Short summary

  1. Almost 50 per cent population from Sattari defecate in open
  2. Files for new toilet constructions are pending with BDO

Valpoi:     Mr PratapSinh Rane may have raised a ‘stink’ over Goans going  abroad to ‘clean toilets’ but he seems to have covered his nose really well, to avoid the stench of open defecation in his own backyard of Valpoi. The Chief Misters with the longest tenure in Goa, hasn’t cared to build enough public toilets in his or his sons constituencies of Valpoi and Poriem where his voters have to defecate in open in absence of toilets for them.

The rough estimates by the experts and elected panchayat representatives reveal that due to lack of toilets, almost 50 per cent of the people defecate outside in Sattari taluka where Rane son and father have been ruling as uncrowned kings.

Locals demand that the State government should provide them the toilets. The  Panchayats from Sattari taluka have already submitted their list of requirement of toilets to the Block Development Office, almost five years ago. But those figures and the files are kept in the cold storage with none of the Rane duo eager to help the constituents.

A  close look at the way people have been living in this taluka indicates that their clock has stopped centuries back. “No one wants to defecate in open area. Especially for women it is a risk. But we have no other option,” said a village lady.

Most of the people who have moved application for toilets belong to the lowest ebb of economical hierarchy. They don’t have sufficient funds to built toilet for them and are looking with high hopes to the State government.

The department figure reveals that through the ‘Sulabh Shauchalaya’s Individual toilet scheme’ the Water Supply Department, had built   6,656 toilets of five seaters in Sattari Taluka, till now.

Out of that 3,353 are in Valpoi and 3,303 in Poriem constituency.

In the period 1985 to 2009, the water supply department, Valpoi had constructed 6,421 toilets and in between 2014 to 2015 they had built the 235 toilets in Taluka.

And the department don’t have the records of how many toilets had been built in the period 2009 till 2014. Many of these toilets are in dilapidated condition. The State government has to conduct a survey of these toilets.

The last file for new toilet was moved by the water supply department in the year 2016. The file is still pending with the government.

The file includes demand of total 1,778 toilets and the total estimated is Rs five crore eighteen lakhs.

The Morlem village Panchayat require 425 toilets, the total estimated 1.21 crore, Keri Panchayat needs 259 toilets, total cost 80 lakhs, Mauxi Panchayat 180 toilets, 55 lakhs, Guleli panchayat 200 toilets, 57 lakhs, Nagargao Panchayat 250 toilets, 70 lakhs, Savordem Panchayat 114 toilets, 32 lakhs and the Valpoi Municipal council require 100 toilets, total cost 30 lakhs.

The Central Government has recently modified the Sulabh Shauchalaya scheme hiking the money provided to construct toilet from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000. Government is subsidizing fifty percent of the cost of the toilet.

The Block Development Office, Sattari Taluka have already submitted the file with requirement of toilets to the Director of Panchayat,

In that file there are around two thousand names from 12 Panchayats and Valpoi Municipal area. An official in BDO said that the Panchayat Director will first check and will sign that file and later on he will pass that file to the water supply department at Valpoi.

“In 2012, I had submitted the toilet list file to the Block Development Office, Sattari from my Panchayat area. While taking the note on that file of then Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, but till now our Morlem villagers didn’t get the toilets,” said  Sushant Paste, Deputy Sarpanch, Morlem Panchayat.

We had submitted the list of toilets requirement in Bhironda Panchayat area, five years ago. Also I have done the follow up of that file many times. The Government has not sanction that file, till date, Nitin Shivdekar Sarpanch, Bhironda Panchayat said

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People Police

The nuisance by wild animals gives nightmares to the farmers




GOA (Valpoi) The farmers in Sattari taluka are troubled, harassed and facing unprecedented brunt of wild animals creating nuisance in their fields.

They spend sleepless night over the make shift platform erected in the field watching out for the wild animals who can come any time and romp their fields.

It’s just a matter of one hour and a group of Wild Boar or peacocks can ruin the entire paddy.  Or a heard of monkeys can attack coconuts and arecanuts within no time leaving the trees fruitless.

Ashok Joshi, lives at Hetodem village in Sattari, just 10 kms away from Valpoi.

He has interesting fact to tell while narrating about the nuisance created by wild animals. “The village has 150 people living in it. But there are 450-500 monkeys who are inhabiting this area. They were hardly few, some years back,” said Joshi.

The village is located at stone’s throw away from Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary. The wild animals travel from there down in the villages and create nuisance, destroy crops and then go back.

Wild Boar and peacocks frequent the fields, defying the solar power fencing that is erected to keep them away. “The solar power fencing passes the current but despite that the wild animals manage to come in. The smell of paddy attracts them,” he said.

Joshi’s paddy field is ruined. The Arecanut and Coconut grove adjacent to the paddy field is also devastated. Walk in the farm and you will find hundreds of coconuts eaten and thrown on the ground by heard of monkeys who regularly attack here.

The farmers claim that the disturbance in food chain has resulted in such a phenomenon. The animals at the upper end of the chain has disappeared, that is why the number of wild boars have increased.

Joshi recalls how some years back, a heard of wild dogs used to move around in the village due to which the other animals had disappeared.

But things have changed now. Rohan Joshi, a young farmer, claims that during last five years, the  nuisance has increased manifold.

“People have stopped cultivating paddy fields as they find it unproductive. What is the use of toiling in the farm when you will have wild animals ruining them at the end of the day,” he said.

There were more than 25 farmer who used to cultivate paddy, but now their numbers have decreased. It is having ripple effect on other things.

For example, Velsai river which is a tributary of Mahadayi, had 27 check dams on them rejuvenating the water table. The farmers have left cultivating paddy and only seven dams are remaining. The result of which is clearly seen on the water table as rain water runs down without being checked to the main river.

The intensity of the animals ruining the farms can be seen with the fact that 4200 farmers have applied for the compensation from the state government because their crops were devastated by wild animals.

State Agriculture Director Nelson Figueiredo said that there are several thousand farmers who have been paid compensation but there are more who never come up asking for assistance.

“The issue of wild animal is really troubling the farmers and we are providing all the possible assistance to the farmers,” he added.

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People Police

Mayem locals demand shops at newly renovated lake project



Devendra Gaonkar

Mayem: Mayem panchayat and residents of Mayem have urged the government and the MLA to allot them shops at the renovated Mayem lake project, which is likely to be inaugurated soon.

Mayem sarpanch, Vijay Pole told The Goa Spotlight that the former MLA, Anant Shet, had promised the locals that they would be given shops at the new venue and so the government should abide by the promise.

It may be stated that there are about twenty shops by the road side at Mayem and earlier when the tourists visited the lake they used to have a good business. With the renovation of the lake, the entrance was shifted to the other side and the shopkeepers now feel that they have been sidelined.

“If we do our business on the main road, we would be totally sidelined and no one will come to the area where we have our shops,” a shopkeeper said.

“Around 100 families were dependent upon this lake for survival. We were promised that we would be given shops at the entrance of the lake and we demand with the MLA to abide by the promise.”

“The work of the lake is already over and we demand that the shopkeepers should be given their rights” panch, Kunda Mandrekar said “locals should get jobs and other opportunities at the lake so that they can get their rights.”

“After I became the sarpanch, the panchayat got an application demanding shops for the locals. I immediately took step and will followup the issue with the authorities,” said Pole.

“The first phase of the project is over and we demand that the shopkeepers should be given their shops else we would be forced to agitate on the day of inauguration” he added.

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People Police

Valpoi Farmer files complaint against Forest officer



Short Summary

  1. Accuses forest department of losses to the crop


Devendra Gaonkar

GOA (Valpoi): Rajendra Tukaram Desai, a farmer from Advoi village, on Wednesday has filed a police complaint against the range forest officer, Valpoi.

In the complaint he have mentioned that wild animals like Bison, monkey, wild board and others animals have destroyed his cultivation, agriculture crops in large and he have suffered the heavy loss.

Further Desai, said that the range forest officer have failed to keep control on wild animals. And he demand to the range forest officer that to make the arrangement to recover his loss.

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