Borim villagers up in arms against projects on Siddhanath Parvath

Ponda: Voicing fear of losing the natural cover and
biodiversity of the Siddhanath Parvath, Borim villagers under the banner of
Siddhanath Parvath Bachao Samiti (SPBS) have opposed any developmental project
atop the Siddhanath Parvath which is one of the tallest hills in the state.

Villagers expressed their concern on Wednesday at a press
briefing in Ponda. SPBS president Harshad Dewari, chairman of Bio-Diversity
Committee of Borim Ramesh Borkar, environmentalist David Rodrigues, villager
Datta Borkar and Sharmila Prabhu Desai were present for the briefing.

According to Harshad Dewari, some influential people from
Borim are planning to set up tourism cottages atop the Siddhanath Hill in the
vicinity of the temple. There is around 90,000 square metres of comunidade land
on the said hill and by destructing natural habitat, they are planning to set
up cottages, he said.

“We are not against tourism activities atop the hill and
promoting temple as a tourist spot, but cottages in such natural cover will be
destructive and pave the way for a lot of illegal activities like drugs,
alcoholism etc,” Ramesh Borkar said.

When asked about the people involved in promoting tourism
cottage atop the hill, SPBS members did not disclose their names and stated
that very soon they themselves will come out with announcement of the cottage
project.

“People planning cottages on the hill have already
started destroying trees by poisoning them. So that they can claim that there
wasn’t any tree in the area where the projects are proposed. But as SPBS, we
have already filed complaint against such activities with the forest department
and have maintained record of the trees atop the Siddhanath hill,” Harshad
Dewari informed.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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