Hooda’s ‘Goa bungalow’ in controversy

Panaji, Jan 26 (Calcutta Tube) An under-construction bungalow allegedly owned by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Goa’s Assagao village has triggered a controversy. However, Hooda’s media adviser has rubbished the talk about Hooda owning the property.

Residents of Assagao, a quiet village 20 km from here known for old Portuguese-styled homes, have alleged that panchayat (village council) officials had been bribed to allow irregularities like illegal hill cutting and illegal construction of a swimming pool worth crores of rupees in an already water-starved village.

While Hooda’s media adviser refuted the Goa report, according to Assagao village sarpanch Pradeep Naik the plot and the bungalow coming up on it stand in the name of Satori Infrastructure, which, he claimed, is owned by Hooda.

Shiv Bhatia, media adviser to Hooda in New Delhi, told IANS: ‘Talk about this property being owned by Hooda is false and it is all being cooked up by vested interests.’

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

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

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 construction licence for the 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 the bungalow. How the panchayat gave permission for these illegalities remains to be seen,’ Fonseca said.

‘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.

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