Opp MLAs protest at Sanguem beer factory, ‘caretaker’ councillor also joins

MAYUR NAIK, SANGUEM | 27 January 2016 22:35 IST

Opposition legislators and Goa Forward today staged a demonstration at Amdai village in Sanguem, protesting against cutting down coconut trees for a beer factory.

The protest was led by former chief minister Digambar Kamat, his Congress colleagues Alex Reginald Lourenco and Babu Kavalekar as well as three independent MLAs – Vijai Sardesai, Rohan Khaunte and Naresh Sawal.

Goa Forward General Secretary Mohandas Lolayekar and executive member Dilip Prabhudesai were also in the forefront, co-ordinating the protest, as they had announced on the day of launching their new regional party.

Interestingly, Prakash Gaonkar, the local councillor, who is also the caretaker of the beer factory property owned Vani Agro Farm, also participated in the demonstration along with the villagers.

Subhash Phaldesai, the local BJP MLA, later on expressed surprise over Gaonkar’s participation.

He claimed that the factory proposal was mooted by the local councillor, who had come to him along with the local villagers supporting the project.

Prakash Gaonkar is part of the BJP-led council of Sanguem municipality.

On the other hand, Prasad Gaonkar, who had lost last Assembly election but in the second position as an independent, was also seen prominently among the protestors.

Shrikant Naik, another politician reportedly trying for the MGP ticket, also participated in the protest.


Former CM Kamat, while speaking, recalled how he had built the road to the village in 2009 after the local villagers had boycotted then Lok Sabha election.

“I had built this road for the villagers, not to build a factory by cutting coconut trees”, he said.

He also demanded that the factory be shifted to the industrial estate, which is hardly five kilometres away from Amdai.

Sardesai announced that he would take the agitation to each and every village of Sanguem taluka.

“We will also meet forest minister Rajendra Arlekar, demanding withdrawing the bill passed in the Assembly amending the Preservation of Trees Act”, he said.

The bill was passed in the Assembly two weeks ago, deleting the word coconut from section 1 A and including it in Section 12 A, which deals with cutting trees which are in ruinous condition or the trees which could fall.

The bill is yet to be assented by the Governor, to make it a law.

Meanwhile, the local villagers told this reporter that the coconut trees in the factory land were cut almost six months ago.  

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Previous Comments

Please resolve the matter peacefully and shift the factory to industrial place closeby.

In the future please don't allow such things to happen in Goa.

We elect you to take care of us and our motherland and preserve nature's beauty.

- Travasso, Ponda Goa | 30 th January 2016 19:28


Don't cut the coconut trees cut the heads of our corrupt and shameless politicians.

- d.jUSTIN, Goa | 28 th January 2016 20:22


I hope people of Sanguem opposing Beer factory (brewery) have no quarrel with the brew but the brewer. This is because beer was introduced to Goa by Portuguese and was called 'cerveja'. This word was on the lips of many Goans even after Portuguese left us. People must be aware it is a heritage stuff and has to be protected.

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 28 th January 2016 10:06


Why all off a sudden Mr.Sardessai, Mr.Kamat become so active after all most 4yrs is been elected?

- vicentin Rebello, uk | 28 th January 2016 00:39


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