The Sindhudurg Diocesan authorities had granted permission to the Sawantwadi Taluka officials to partially use Navsarni Kendra Pastoral Centre as a quarantine facility for covid-19 patients in April 2020.
After two months of usage, and without informing the diocesan authorities, the Sawantwadi Taluka authorities decided to convert the entire Navsarni campus into an exclusive Covid-19 facility under the influence of Panchayat Sabha. This decision created panic because the diocese uses this particular facility for special religious services, which are scheduled to resume after acquiring government permissions.
Under the leadership of Fr Alex D'Mello, Director of Navsarni Kendra Campus, Victor Dantas and Michael D'Souza, a series of consultation meetings began with the Collector of Sindhudurg, the Prant and Tahsildar of Sawantwadi, including Shri Uday Samant, Guardian Minister of Sindhudurg. At these meetings, the delegation impressed the officials about the need of the diocese for Navasarni Kendra campus, which includes conducting of various religious activities.
On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (19 June), after rounds of discussions, Shri Uday Samat, the Guardian Minister of Sindhudurg, issued an order for all government authorities to immediately vacate the campus so that the diocese can resume its regular religious activities.
Bishop Alwyn Barreto places on record his gratitude to Shri Uday Samat, the Guardian Minister of Sindhudurg for issuing the orders. He also thanked the District collector, the SDO of Sawantwadi Division and the Tahsildar of Sawsntwadi as well as to Fr Alex D'Mello, Victor Dantas, Michael Dsouza and all the Catholic leaders, and well-wishers for their support and for standing by Sindhudurg Diocese during this time of crisis.