Aam Aadmi Party leader Cecille Rodrigues had the Monserrate family running for cover after she organised a unique protest against the illegal destruction of trees and sand dunes along the Caranzalem-Miramar road.
“We had announced a citizens tree plantation drive at 10.30 am today after mobilising the residents of the area, especially children and senior children. However, Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserrate, Mayor Rohit Monserrate, and a number of CCP councillors descended at the site an hour before us, and started planting their own coconut saplings in an attempt to foil the scheduled protest. However, the weak attempt to save face backfired, and the Monserattes’ knee-jerk reaction has only confirmed their direct involvement in the illegal destruction. I also condemn the foul language used against me by Jennifer when we reached the site, it is a sign of her frustration at being exposed in the matter”, Rodrigues said.
AAP leader Valmiki Naik lambasted the Monserrate family for indulging in such illegalities.
“The father is Panaji MLA, the mother is Taleigao MLA & revenue minister, and the son is Mayor and local councillor of the ward. It is obvious that this destruction took place with blessings of the entire Monserrate parivar, and even the flying squad did not have the guts to visit the site”, Naik charged.
Naik also mocked the BJP Govt, as the area was proposed to be made into an “Urban Forest” under Modi Govt’s “Nagar Van” scheme.
“Instead of planting more trees under the central scheme, the BJP MLAs have actually mocked Modiji by cutting existing trees in the proposed nagar van”, Naik stated.
Rodrigues warned against the rampant destruction of the ecologically sensitive area, stating that it acts as an invaluable buffer against tsunamis, sea-level rise and cyclones.
“It takes 2 years to construct a building, but it can get washed away in a tsunami in 2 minutes. For their greed, the Monserrates are dismantling this God-given protective buffer, forgetting that even their own bungalow is protected from natural disasters by the trees and sand dunes they are destroying”, Rodrigues stated.