‘Minister should quit, sit at home’
An agitated Joseph Sequeira, former sarpanch, who was present at the site, was caustic in his comments. "Dilip Parulekar says coastal MLAs will not have any say in the demolitions, but the chief minister has given us an assurance that nothing will come here in the vacant land. If necessary I will sit on a dharna to stop any shack by the GTDC. They cannot set up anything here without the consent of the village panchayat. We had voted for the BJP and now they're going against their own MLA. They should then ask him to resign and sit at home," he said, adding, "the tourism department is not bothered about the infrastructure. We're (panchayat) building the new footpaths, new toilets, widening of roads; what are they doing?" he queried.
According to him, the occupants of the seven houses have been there for decades. Though the land was acquired around 43 years ago, it was never developed. "If land acquired for a public purpose is not utilized for 30 years, then it lapses," Sequeira claimed, opposing any move to demolish the houses and evict the occupants. The occupants were also present at the meeting. One of them, Peter Carvalho asked, "Don't we have the right to shelter and livelihood?" Albert Fernandes, another ex-sarpanch, said, "It is not good that they're making the locals cry. We will never allow them to do anything here, because this land belongs to fishermen." [TOI]