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Hooda’s bungalow, swimming pool in Goa create controversy

Panaji, Jan 26 (Calcutta Tube) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s under-construction bungalow with a swimming pool worth crores of rupees in Assagao village in Goa has triggered a controversy.

Assagao, a quaint village 20 km from here, is known for old Portuguese-styled homes.

Residents of Assagao have alleged that panchayat (village council) officials had been bribed to allow irregularities like illegal hill cutting and illegal construction of a swimming pool in an already water-starved village.

The panchayat authorities have resolved to issue a show cause notice to Hooda over the alleged illegalities.

According to details available in the minutes of a Jan 24 gram sabha (village council) meeting at the Assagao panchayat complex, the villagers have demanded the revocation of the licence for Hooda’s bungalow.

‘The entire village does not have proper water supply. How did the panchayat give permission to Haryana chief minister’s bungalow for a swimming pool? Who has taken money?’ Clayton Fonseca, a member of a local civil society group, has asked.

Ervin Fonseca, another resident, said the bungalow in the Mazalwaddo area has been constructed by massive illegal hill-cutting and tree-felling without permission.

‘There are a lot of irregularities which have come to the fore vis a vis Hooda’s bungalow. How the panchayat gave permission for these illegalities remains to be seen,’ Fonseca said.

Speaking to IANS, Pradeep Naik, sarpanch (head) of Assagao, said that keeping in mind the public sentiment, the panchayat would issue a show cause notice to Hooda.

‘We are going to issue the notice Wednesday. We will ask for all the relevant documents they have in their possession. How they have got permission for hill cutting, construction of swimming pool etc,’ Naik said.

‘There are 15 bungalows with swimming pools in Assagao. We will not give any more permission for swimming pools because of water scarcity in the village,’ he said.

Shiv Bhatia, media adviser to Hooda in New Delhi, told IANS: ‘I will get the matter checked tomorrow (Wednesday) as I have no information about the controversy.’

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