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St Cruz rises up against inclusion of village in PDA

Panjim: St Cruz villagers and Village Development Committee of Santa Cruz have opposed the inclusion of a portion of Calapur and Cujira village in the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority (GPPDA).Former MLA Victoria Fernandes and her son Rudolf have joined the villagers in the protest. MLA Antonio Fernandes has also demanded that the villages be kept out of the GPPDA.Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Victoria demanded that the formation of the PDA be discussed in the Assembly and warned of a major protest in St Cruz on February 18 against the decision.“We categorically oppose parts of our village Calapur and Cujira being brought under PDA. The villagers and the Village Development Committee have a clear vision that we want to be de-notified from the PDA for sustainable growth of our village,” she said.
MLA Antonio has also objected to the inclusion of villages in the PDA and said he will raise the issue in the coming Assembly session.Villagers said that in the request made to the Centre for special status, the State had said that land was one of its prime resources which needs protection along with its bio-diversity.“But our legislative wing seems to be offering these village land for vertical development to whom? Whose benefit? Whose development? Why are we raising special status with the Central government?” villagers questioned. Villagers also said they have lost trust in the TCP Minister as he has not suspended the construction licenses to protect Bondvoll Lake, a promise he made on his last visit to St Cruz.The committee alleged that the development proposed without consulting the villagers is against the spirit of the Constitution of India and MLAs should uphold it in pursuit of development and not bow down to pressures. [H]

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