Digambar Kamat is misguiding people: Savio Coutinho

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Margao: Reacting very sharply to the statement of Margao MLA Digamber Kamat, assuring Gadda owners rehabilitation in Vending zones, newly inducted Congress leader Mr. Savio Coutinho slammed the MLA for misguiding the Gadda owners.

Addressing his first press conference in the South Goa district office, along with Domnic Coutinho and Lalan Parsekar, Mr. Coutinho not only cautioned the Gadda owners of being fooled by the MLA, but also made it clear to the Margao Municipal Council and the PWD that violations of the Act will invite trouble for all.

He said that the Street Vendors(Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014 is in force after being notified on 19th October 2016 by the DMA. This act is very well defined and the assurance of the Margao MLA, in no manner fits in this act.

None of the conditions laid down in the act are fulfilled by the Council he charged. With rampant encroachments happening all over the city, 3 Vending zones were identified by the previous Council at the Davorlim junction, opposite KRC railway station(Aquem side) and near the Railway Over Bridge at Sirvodem. The MLA very cunningly attempted to erect Gadda’s in these Vending zones, only to be caught by the Shadow Council for Margao, Mr. Coutinho stated further.

Mr. Coutinho also recalled that way back on 16th February 2017 the then Chairperson Babita Angle and Councillor Rupesh Mahatme along with MMC officials had inspected the road along the KRC station and found several illegal Gadda’s, and had declared that all the illegal gaddas would be removed. However on account of the interference of the Margao MLA Digamber Kamat, the action was aborted, he said.

First Mr. Kamat allows and protects illegal encroachments of public spaces for his selfish personal gains, and then claims of protecting their livelihood. The city is very badly decaying on account of this Mr Coutinho lamented.

Just like the manner in which Mr Kamat allowed illegal mining which eventually resulted into the total closure of mining activity, we fear that with the rampant and uncontrolled encroachment of footpaths and roads, one fine day the Hon’ble High Court will most likely come up with harsh directions which will harm every Gadda owner as what was seen after the High court order in 1997, Mr. Coutinho cautioned. In such an event, the Margao MLA shall be solely responsible for the consequences.

Mr. Coutinho also criticized the MLA for his failure to complete the permanent rehabilitation of Gadda’s displaced during the 1997 drive. The Margao Municipal Council is in total Contempt of High court directions he said.

Mr. Coutinho appealed to the Gadda owners to check upon the legality of their rehabilitation; and also advised the MMC and PWD officials not to get lured by the talks of the Margao MLA and execute agreements, which will be in total contravention of the Street Vendors(Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014.

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