Corlim gram sabha sees heated exchanges over building VP ghar

Even as the Corlim panchayat unveiled its plans to build the panchayat ghar under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, heated exchanges were seen over the issue with the locals questioning the panchayat authorities on various aspects.

At the Sunday gram sabha, sarpanch Baptist Pereira informed that the panchayat has decided to build the panchayat ghar in two phases with the help of CSR funds.

“The panchayat ghar will consist of two phases with the first phase itself costing Rs 2 crore,” Pereira informed while adding that the panchayat will keep aside Rs 1 crore from the panchayat fund if there is shortage of funds.

However, the locals pointed out that if the VP ghar is build under CSR funds, then no money should be spent from the panchayat coffers.

The locals also sought to know whether the companies, which the panchayat will approach for funds, will keep their promise.

“What guarantee is there that the companies won’t back off from funding the project midway?” questioned a local.

Another local then pointed out that if the VP ghar is built under CSR funds, then it would bind the panchayat to the companies which would ultimately force the panchayat authorities to compromise when any issues arise.

“Therefore it would be better to avail of government schemes to build the panchayat ghar,” the locals suggested.

However, sarpanch Pereira opined that a proper panchayat ghar is needed urgently as the current premises is congested. “Also, it takes time to avail government schemes,” he added but at the same time informed that the panchayat will build the second phase under government scheme.

After much discussion over the issue, it was then decided to form a committee to overlook the proper utilization of the CSR funds as the locals raised suspicion over improper utilisation of the funds.

The issue of imposing garbage fees to commercial establishments was also discussed. However, the villagers informed that the illegal business should be shut down first and only then the panchayat should go ahead with garbage fees for commercial establishments.

The villagers felt that those doing legal business would be at a disadvantage as they would pay the fees while those doing illegal business would go scot free.

The panchayat authorities were also asked to take action against the kiosks operating along the highway road.

However, the villagers were informed that the panchayat has petitioned the PWD (highways) to take action in the matter.

Meanwhile, budget estimates over Rs 5 crore was approved for the financial year 2023-24.

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