The water resources department is preparing an inventory
of the land belonging to it as the government has adopted zero tolerance
approach towards encroachment on its land, Minister for Water Resources Filipe
Nery Rodrigues said on Tuesday.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone for the
National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project, Rodrigues said that directions have
been issued to the officials to prepare an inventory and to carry out survey of
the land belonging to the department while also preparing a detailed report of
the land given to other departments.
He said, “Once we come to know the available land, we can
accordingly plan. A lot of land has been given to other departments like PWD
etc. Once we have an inventory, the department can plan the land use or if it
has to be given to other departments.”
He said that, “Once a survey is carried out, we will appoint
an agency to carry out the mapping of the available land as land is a scarce
and valuable resource.”
He said that when the
land was acquired, it was purchased at very low rates hence if the land is not
in use, it can be returned to the owner or sold or put to proper use and we
will know it after the survey.
Earlier, Rodrigues along with Leader of Opposition
Digambar Kamat laid the foundation stone for the Rs 4-crore worth NCRMP
programme funded by the World Bank and implemented by the National
Disaster Management Authority after the project was rejected by Velim panchayat
and was shifted to Margao and is expected to be completed within a year.
Rodrigues said that climate change is a major concern
before everyone and that there is a need to prepare infrastructure to be
prepared to meet any contingency in the future. He said that there are a lot of
challenges before the government to set up such projects due to unavailability
of land and people’s opposition to part with land and lot of projects are rejected
by the people.
Speaking to reporters, Kamat said that such projects are
of utmost importance as the people face a lot of hardships especially when
there is water-logging in low-lying areas adding, “All this time, the people
were shifted to the stadium however with dedicated infrastructure, it will go a
long way in helping those affected.”
He said that there are few other projects proposed for
Margao under water resources department including re-aligning of nullahs with
the nullah near Konkan railway being taken up shortly which will also address
the issue of improving the ring road near Konkan railway.
On unavailability of sand affecting government projects,
Kamat said that the non-availability of sand is a major concern. He said
that the construction industry is going through a bad phase and
non-availability of sand is becoming a major issue as the police dump the sand
back into the river besides imposing fines.
He said, “I had raised the matter in the assembly and the
chief minister said that the government is working on finding a solution and
few places where legal sand mining can be carried out have been identified.”
Kamat said that the government’s role is limited as the
matter is before the High Court but hopefully the government will work out a