KARWAR/BENGALURU:The Goa government removed 157 huts and houses of Kannadigas from Baina beach in South Goa district on Saturday. The encroachments were cleared on a day Karnataka observed a bandh to protest against Goa’s stand over Karnataka’s decision to implement the Kalasa-Banduri canal project.
The South Goa district administration had issued a notice to the residents on September 4 asking them to vacate the beach in 15 days. Water and electricity connections were disconnected to these houses about two months ago.
As the deadline ended on Friday, officials informed the residents about the scheduled demolition drive to be taken up the next day.
The officials arrived at the spot with police force and excavators at 7 am on Saturday and began the demolition drive.
As the clearance drive intensified, the residents were seen taking out their valuables out of the houses and huts.
Officials did not give residents much time and demolished all the huts and houses by 10 am. Residents were then seen collecting their belongings from the debris. A small temple constructed by the residents was also razed.
Last year, the Goa government demolished 75 houses and another 50 houses from the beach in June. A majority of the houses and huts had been occupied by Kannadiga families. The drive to clear the encroachments has been taken up as the huts and houses are built within the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ).
The CRZ norms prohibit construction of any permanent structure on beaches as high tides may cause loss of lives.
The Kannadiga families, most of them labourers, are residing there for many decades and hail from Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Belagavi and Gadag districts.
CM to take up issue
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in Bengaluru that he will speak to his Goa counterpart Laxmikant Parsekar about the demolition. “I will also write a letter to him and send a minister to that state,” he said.
‘Delhi Chalo’ Planned
The Karnataka Navanirmana Sene has stated in a release that a ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, to be led by Patil Putappa, will be taken out on October 16 demanding the Centre to intervene in the matter and address the plight of Kannadigas in Goa.