Corporators indicted in Panaji market irregularities
Panaji: The state government instituted inquiry into illegal occupation of shops in Panaji has indicted several municipal corporators and officials of corporation of City of Panaji (CCP).
The inquiry report by senior bureaucrat N D Agarwal mentions that 90 percent of shopkeepers occupying shops in the market located in the capital city of Panaji are illegal.
The report was submitted to the state government earlier last month.
The Panaji market was constructed by the State Infrastructure Development Corporation in two different phases in 2003 and 2007, after demolition of the Portuguese-era structure which existed there.
The inquiry report has indicted then CCP Commissioner Melwyn Vaz, currently holding senior position in the state government, corporation`s accounts officer J S Colaco and administrative officer H S Singnapurkar along with the elected corporators responsible for the massive irregularities in allotting the shops.
Nearly 800 shops were found illegally occupied in the market, the report mentions it had issued notices to 778 persons, of whom only 609 had responded back.
The probe revealed that even as some shopkeepers were illegally allotted the shops, many occupancy letters were allegedly issued by forging signature of Vaz after his transfer from the CCP. Moreover, additional shops were constructed by individuals in the market without any permission to do so.
CCP Mayor Surendra Furtado told that the allegations in the report are very serious and he will call a special meeting of the corporators to decide the future course on the issue.
"The corporators will have to decide what action needs to be taken," Furtado said, adding that the corporation has been spending Rs one crore annually on the water and electricity bills of the market, while not a single rupee is collected from the shopkeepers.
The originally allotted shopkeepers had sold or sub leased their shops to others, which is not allowed as per the provisions of the Goa Municipality Act, 1968.
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