Goa minister’s bungalow near heritage church stokes controversy

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Panaji, May 2 (IANS) Goa Governor Mridula Sinha on Wednesday ordered action on a complaint that alleged an illegal bungalow built by Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar has come up near a centuries-old church near here.

Sinha asked Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma to take appropriate action on the complaint filed by social activist Aires Rodrigues.

The directive comes a month after Rodrigues petitioned her and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) alleging that the newly constructed bungalow by the BJP minister, was within 300m of a Unesco heritage monument, under the ASI protection. It was therefore illegal, Rodrigues said.

Secretary to the Governor, Rupesh Thakur in a letter to the Chief Secretary, asked the latter to probe the complaint by Rodrigues, which alleged that the “construction of bungalow of Pandurang Madkaikar,… through his company Nikitasha Realtors…at Old Goa (was) within the prohibited 300m from the central protected monument Basilica of Bom Jesus Church at Old Goa.”

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It said that “the compound wall of the said bungalow being less than 50m above the state protected monument”, called for action “as deemed appropriate”.

Speaking to IANS, Madkaikar said that his bungalow is legal in every way and he is willing to offer documents related to his newly constructed house to any authority for examination.

“I have all the approvals, licences from the authorities. If required I will present it before appropriate authority,” Madkaikar said.

–IANS

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