‘File a complaint against Corlim panch, will take action’ | Goa News

Panaji: A day after the Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) brought to light an attempt by a Corlim panch member to extort money from an industrial unit that manufactures stationery, the Minister of Panchayats Mauvin Godinho said he was ready to take action against the panch member. Godinho also said the panchayats leadership is working on a plan to try to prevent similar cases from happening again in the future.
Godinho asked the GSIA to file a formal complaint with the department so that actions against the Corlim panchayat and the panch could be taken.
“I am aware of similar incidents in other panchayats. I have asked them to submit a written complaint and I am ready to act,” Godinho said.
An industrial unit set up by a German company in Corlim had obtained technical clearance from the Department of Land Use Planning (TCP) to expand its business operations and then approached the Corlim panchayat on March 15 for construction approval .
GSIA chairman Damodar Kochkar has alleged that a panch member demanded a bribe of Rs 6 lakh to approve the company’s application.
The panch member rejected an appeal to lower his demands and said that even if Chief Minister Pramod Sawant intervened, he would not give his approval. To date, the Corlim panchayat has refused to endorse the proposal, citing the need for a site inspection.
Godinho said he was aware that cases of harassment by panchayats were well known. The minister said harassment and demands for bribes are “contrary to the principles of basic governance” for which the panchayats were created.
“I am ready to do whatever it takes to prevent such incidents from happening again. The panchayat department is aware of this and we are considering taking action and even making changes to the Panchayati Raj law if necessary,” Godinho said.