Illegal mud excavation activity halted at Vagator


Anjuna police on Saturday stopped an alleged illegal activity of mud excavation at Vagator after some locals who were agitated over the work approached the police. It is learnt that a building is likely to come up at the site.
According to information available, some residents of Vagator and Anjuna, expressing concern about the work had approached various government agencies bringing to their notice about the alleged large-scale violations in survey numbers 325/1 and 330/4.
The villagers alleged that the mud excavated in the said survey numbers, for laying foundation, was more than seven metres deep. They said there was every possibility of ground water contamination as septic tanks and soak pits would have to be dug furthermore.
They also alleged that trees were felled at the site without any permission from the forest department.
"For any construction where total excavation is below half a metre, environment clearances and permissions from water resources department are required as the water table could be disturbed. But they have failed to seek the necessary permissions," alleged Mr Michael D’Souza from Anjuna who is leading the movement, adding, "We are therefore opposing the work and will continue our fight to protect the environment."
Villagers who had gathered in large numbers at the site feared that Anjuna village was being destroyed as gross violations were taking place and no one seemed to act.
Incidentally, it is learnt that locals had protested and had even complained to the panchayat to intervene in the matter and stop the work. While deputy sarpanch, Mr Savio Almeida claims that the panchayat had instructed the developer to put on hold all the work till the activity was verified the villagers say that despite such claims by the panchayat the ground reality was different and work was going on in full swing.
Villagers complained that trucks were seen transporting mud and digging work was also going on in full earnest.
After seeing no action from the panchayat, the villagers on Friday approached the police who went at the site and asked for all approvals obtained but as the same could not be shown to the satisfaction of the police, the work was ordered to
be stopped.
Police also instructed the concerned persons to submit whatever documents they possessed at the police station.
Meanwhile, Mapusa police have registered an offence against unknown persons for insulting the tricolour. Police informed that they received a complaint that the tricolour was lying in a dustbin near the Hutatma Chowk after which police recovered the tricolour and registered an offence. [NT]