23June2017

Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Marketing of a scam

This is how it’s done in scamgoa.com.  First get the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) to build something as big as is possible, like the Corporation of the City of Panjim (CCP) market.  For a size guesstimate, look at the Ravindra Bhavan being built on the Verna-Dabolim bypass which you might easily have thought was an indoor stadium.  It’s so large -it literally breaks the skyline as you whiz past.  The GSIDC comes under the Urban Development minister Joaquim Alemao, so nothing goes suburban, if you get my drift.

 

Everything stays in-house

For now we are concerned with scam No. 1 which began when the CCP’s councilors began to take “operational control” of the market complex.  Now if you want a career as a thieving scoundrel then take note of the phrase ‘operational control’ because, it will help you one day.  Point is, it appears till date that no official allotment of the hundreds of shops and stalls was done from the first phase in 2003 till now.  It’s possible that some councilors succeeded in ‘allotting’ some shops either to themselves or to their relatives.  For the record, 37 shops with double height were built in phase I on the ground floor.  Seventy-seven shops with single height were built on the ground floor in phase II, 446 platform spaces were built on the ground floor, 344 stalls were built on the first floor.  They are all occupied, yet no official allotment has been made!  The scam is being investigated since July 2010 and the results if properly investigated by the CCP Commissioner should make Fox Crime (the channel) look amateur.  Problem is, so far the CCP has come out with two reports, dated March 3 and July 9, 2010.

 

Mayoral Pleasure

Between July-August 2003, 52 ‘persons’ are said to have illegally occupied shops when Sanjit Rodrigues was the Commissioner and Ashok Naik the Mayor (May 4, 2003-July 17, 2004).  They simply waltzed in and took over 37 shops of double height each with a carpet area of 18 sq.mt, and 15 other smaller-sized shops.  Nobody knows how, but it happened despite GSIDC having a detailed official record of the occupants prior to the demolition (of the old market) matched with the shops/stalls they were to be allotted.  The CCP has no record either of rents fixed or collected.  It happens in Goa and happened again after phase II was completed and inaugurated in January 2007.  This time around (between June 20, 2006-January 21, 2007) when Daulat Hawaldar was the Commissioner and Tony Rodrigues the Mayor, 62 shops were occupied.  The CCP called it “occupational control”.  A further 446 platform spaces were occupied by what the CCP described in its report as “different types of vendors.”  The second CCP report said “the official roll was missing and the Mayor and a few councilors monitored shifting of the vendors and allotment of spaces.”  It added: “Again, no record is available on the shifting of these vendors in the 2nd phase”.

 

The Rumba continues

It happened again in January 2008, this time when Sanjiv Gadkar was the Commissioner or should I say Commissar (Soviet style) and Tony Rodrigues continued as Mayor.  This time, 344 stalls were ‘occupied’ and the report said, “This occupation took place, sans administrative intervention, directly under the supervision of the Mayor and some councilors”.  This report added: “In the light of what is stated, it will be improper for the present Commissioner (Elvis Gomes) to go into the roles of the above named, and if desired, the government may initiate a proper inquiry to be conducted by an independent authority to go into the entire issue”.  A classic example of made in Goa obfuscation.  So, the next time you shop at the market, bargain like hell.  Remember, the man/woman conning you has not paid rent, does not have a lease agreement and is using infrastructure paid by your tax money.  Huge bills amounting to Rs 12,06,952 and Rs 62,20,833 towards unpaid water and electricity consumption have piled up and continue rising as are the prices of the vegetables you are buying.

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