Additional Director of Panchayat to hear challenge by Raaj Shashibhushan

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Panaji: Additional Director of Panchayat South Goa on Wednesday will hear the plea filed by Raaj Shashibhushan Pandey against the demolition order issued by village Panchayat Poinguinim of controversial and illegal Ashram at Vape-Sadolxem in Canacona.

The last hearing was held on June 2 this year, while additional Director Panchayat has asked Pandey to file an affidavit restricting him from carrying on further work of the ashram at Vape Sadolxem. Counsel for Panchayat had submitted the necessary evidence and the records of the Panchayat along with photographs showcasing the illegality by Raaj Shashibhushan Pandey.

The controversy of an illegal ashram is another fine example of the negligence of the administration in Canacona taluka, that has been taken up by the GNH over two months back and it will be followed up consistently by our Investigation Team.

It may be recalled that Raaj Shashibhushan Pandey alias Swami Rishiraj, an influential Guru, who initially operated from Bhandarwada-Palyem Arambol and began construction of this Ashram at Vape forests in Canacona. As per the demolition notice issued by local panchayat, the construction is completely illegal and it has been done by felling several trees and cutting off eco-sensitive hill.

Savita Tawadkar, Sarpanch of Poinguinim panchayat, who is also a wife of MLA of Canacona and Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly said that the complaint was received by the local body and had initiated a show cause notice against the Ashram, she said adding that the management responded to the notice but their reply was not satisfactory.

Pandey is already booked by the Forest department for felling of almost 30 trees, also by the TCP for hill cutting and the Revenue department has issued stop work notice. Canacona Police are keeping all round vigil at the Vape hill for restraining Pandey from doing further illegality.

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