Foundation stones are often considered a prerequisite for any project, but it is not often that two foundation stones are laid by the same chief minister for a similar project at the same ground in Socorro over a period of 12 years.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar happened to lay both foundation stones, first on May 11, 2001, during his earlier stint as chief minister and then on February 25, in the presence of Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte.
Both foundation stones are located about 20 metres from each other near the entrance of the Socorro ground opposite the Clergy Home.
The foundation stone of the "Construction of Multipurpose Hall and other facilities at Socorro ground' laid by Parrikar on February 25, in the presence of Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte, former Aldona MLA Ulhas Asnodkar and Socorro Sarpanch Shital Arolkar.
Parrikar informed that the work to develop the Socorro ground at a cost of Rs 27 crore would start on April 11.
But not many were aware that Parrikar had laid a similar foundation stone for the "Sports Complex" in the presence of then deputy speaker and Aldona MLA Ulhas Asnodkar and then Socorro sarpanch Mahanand Asnodkar on May 11, 2001.
When the foundation stone was laid in 2001, it was announced that the project would comprise various facilities, including a multipurpose hall, swimming pool, badminton court, gymnasium and changing room.
According to sources, the Socorro panchayat had adopted a resolution on June 6, 1992, to develop the playground in the open space of 29,425 sq mtrs. The Serula Comunidade had also issued its no objection certificate to transfer the land from the State government to Socorro Panchayat without the formalities.
However, the foundation stone in 2001 had been of little use as the facilities were not set up on the ground.
Then on February 12, 2008, the Socorro Panchayat sent a project proposal along with drawings, etc, to the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department. The panchayat received approval from the TCP on December 17, 2009 and it was forwarded to the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) on February 26, 2010.
In its letter dated January 4, 2011, the GSIDC requested the Socorro Panchayat to issue a construction licence and hand over the land to them to construct the project.
Incidentally, Asnodkar, who was present at the function on February 25, was made aware that he was also part of the earlier ceremony to lay the foundation stone in 2001. Asnodkar acknowledged this with a smile, but did not say anything in the matter. [H]