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Proposal for bifurcation of Loutolim sparks heated debate

Margao: Loutolim gram sabha witnessed some heated discussions when some residents of Rassaim and Carvotta wards of the village proposed bifurcation of the panchayat: one for the two wards.

Meanwhile, the villagers also resolved that elections in future be conducted using ballot papers instead of the electronic voting machines.

Around 25 villagers from Rassaim and Carvota alleged that their wards have not seen much development despite being represented by three panchas; hence, they demanded that the two wards be made a new panchayat body.

However, the rest of the villagers vehemently opposed this move. They pointed out that most of the past sarpanchas, including the present one, were elected from those areas. Sarpanch Inacinho Fernandes, stating that as a resident of that area he supported the demand for a separate panchayat, insisted that as a sarpanch he was opposed to it along with the other panchayat members.

Finally, the proponents of the separation were asked to get a representation signed by at least 1,500 people so that it could be submitted to the higher authorities. They were also asked to identify the place where the new panchayat office would be housed.

Meanwhile, acknowledging the possibility of tampering with the electronic voting machines, the villagers unanimously resolved to have all future elections by using ballot papers and not the EVMs.

They also resolved to have the EPIC card used for election linked with Aadhar card to avoid the EPIC cards’ misuse during elections.

The villagers also demanded a ban on exports of fish caught off Goan seashore as the fishing industry in Goa is subsidized through the taxes paid by Goans; they said that the benefit of the harvest by these subsidies should first come to Goa and Goans.

The panchayat was also directed to contact all the landlords in the village who have rented out their premises to migrants to submit to the panchayat, a copy of the verification form submitted to the police. This, they said, would enable the panchayat to keep a record of the migrants living in the village.

The panchayat accepted the villagers’ proposal to put up wire mesh by the side of the bypass road to make it difficult for people to dump their garbage by the roadside. However, the Sarpanch Inacinho also appealed to the people to stop people from dumping garbage there whenever they see anyone doing. Because, he said, the panchayat cannot monitor the place round the clock.

The gram sabha decided to give some importance to sports. [H]

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