The border area of VP Khola and Barcem-Quedem Village Panchayat.
Residents say they are forced to relaunch their agitation of 2017, which led to stoppage of Fish Meal Plant.
CANACONA: Amidst growing dissent over deforestatiuon, hill-cutting and concretising lands, villagers of Khola, Agonda and Barcem-Quedem marched in unison at Paryemoll to oppose construction of a Fishmeal factory.
Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa, besides Sarpanch of Khola Krishna Velip, Dy. Sarpanch Pandhari Prabhudessai, and other panch members, besides an ex-sarpanch and ex-panch members of Barcem-Quedem and prominent members.along with hundreds of residents marched in line shouting slogans ‘Amkam Naka amkam naka, Fish Meal amkam Naka’, to the Site at Paryemoll (on the side of Barcem-Quedem panchayat area), where mass destruction of trees, hill-cutting and levelling had taken place and is still going on, to construct a Fishmeal Factory. Altone D’Costa stating his and the entire people and personally his own’s opposition for bringing a Fish Meal unit, D’Costa said, ‘Bring a film City here, we don’t have objection. But, a unit which can cuase ample of pollution in the environment and water bodies are not required and will not be permitted.
Residents alleges that approximately 7 lakhs sqm of land is being levelled by way of hill-cutting and deforestation at Paryemoll within the borders of two village panchcyat’s of Khola and Barcem-Quedem for allegedly setting up FishMeal Factory Unit. A similar attempt made in the year 2017 was scuttled after the residentsd strongly objected to the move, and even pollution board officials were forced to retreat from the site when they had arrived conduct inspection fortheir report.
An ex-panch Narayan Velip in his talk informed how the ghost of a Fish Meal Factory has come back to the area, since it was objected to and disband in the year 2017, after people of Quedem and Pryemoll had jointly organised the protest now almost 6 years ago. ‘If a fish meal factory is set up here it have bad effect on the lives of more than 5000 peopl, besides destroy the Saleri river from where water is pumped to the resients of Khola and Agonda.
Incidentally, just before the huge gathering assembled at the site, heavy earth moving machinery along with Tipper Trucks and others were shifted and hidden behind bushes and trees.
Khola Sarpanch also spoke and highlighted how the fish meal factory unit if allowed to come up infests the atmosphere around and literally cause grave pollution of the water bodies, including springs, housewell and rivulets, converting into big rivers down the line.
Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa stated as of now, it looks like people are simply firing blindly in the air, as no one knows if precisely a Fish Meal factory is coming up or something else. Neither the Khola Panchayat is approached nor the Barcem-Quedem Panchayat for any NOC , nor I have heard that such permission is sought or accorded by any authorities in the government. How can, we say it’s a fish meal?, infact, the ill-effects of a fish meal factory are widely felt and seen in neighboring Cuncolim constituency, where Cuncolim MLA Yuri Alemao is goaded by the residents of Balli, Adnem of pollution in their rivulets and even house wells, besides the stench smell around many of the localities. ‘ Let us first enquire with the authorities as to what permission is sought and for what the deforestation and hill-cutting is being held?’, Altone told.
While sarpanch or any sitting panch of Barcem-Quedem Panchayat were not seen amongst public protests, people strongly demanded to stop the deforestation, excavation and forgo if there are any plans for Construction of a Fishmeall . ‘Save ours main rivers flowing from Agonda and Saleri from the imminent pollution’
The Villagers have handed over a memorandum signed by maximum villagers to MLA of Quepem Constituency Altone D’costa , giving him full responsibility to save our Khola and Agonda Villages and the people living there from destruction.
Many of the residents from Ambdem, Paryemol, Kudai,Karegal including ZP (Khola) Shanu Velip, Ex-Sarpanch (Khola ) Ajay Pagui, including women activists Mahyima Velip, Amita Veliup, Sunita Velip, Vinisha Velip, Manuradha Veliup, and besides others, Bhushan Kholakar, Vishnu Kholkar, Vinay Nayak, Gaurang Bhagat, Manoj Pagi also spoke on the occasion.