There is a widespread consensus that the Goans oppose every developmental project in the state, but that is not the whole truth, and many projects do interfere with the normal life of the locals. Take the example of a 4-laning of Pillar-Old Goa Road. The locals are opposing the widening of the road, but why? Let us take a look at it…
Every-time the road widening work gets into action people oppose the same due to various reasons. It is a known fact that the road widening causes destruction of fields and houses that are built alongside of the road.
The century-old Dhondeshwar temple, with two ancient deities, Kareavoilo and Chavdekar, are near the roads states the villagers
The residents of Neura are opposing this development project right from 2008. In the report published by the TOI, the Neura locals had opposed the marking of the Neura road, the inclusion of 10.5 KM Old Goa – Pillar highway, as National Highway NH-4. The fear of demolition of several houses and cutting of trees, not the way had prompted the people of Neura to oppose the entire project.
During that time the then PWD minister Ramkrishna Sudin Dhawlikar had assured the people of Goa that No Houses Will Be Demolished if the project is taken up and the villagers had warned that they will launch an agitation and stop traffic on this route if they were bypassed by the state Government.
In 2009, a gram sabha had demanded the denotification of this road as a major district road and retaining its six-meter width while finalizing Regional Plan 2021
If you take a look at this issue from very close then you will be surprised to understand that the opposition for the road widening is not new and it started from the year 2014 when the state Government planned to put-up the work of 4 lanning of Panaji-Old Goa bypass road. According to the reports published in the local daily Heraldo, the villagers of Old Goa and Corlim had opposed the project very hard.
According to the Neura Locals, the government should take people into confidence and carry out a survey and assessment before taking up the work.
Now that the time has come, the Neura residents have once again have come together to oppose the Government’s plan to to widen the 11KM long Pillar-Old Goa road since it will require the demolition of some heritage houses, commercial structures, and religious places on the way.
The road is a link between NH4-A and NH66 through Neura, Mandur, Azossim, and Carambolim.
In the meeting held at Neura under the banner of “Save Neura,” the villagers had sought a special gram sabha to discuss the road widening issue. A majority of the structures along the road, including a few centuries-old houses and some religious shrines with unique architecture in these linear villages, may have to be partly razed, they said.
“The 400-year-old house of Bernardo Peres da Silva, the first and only native governor during Portuguese rule will be affected,” former law secretary and villager Pramod Kamat said.
The villagers believe that the road widening will not only damage the heritage structures but it will also result in noise pollution, increased heat and dust due to cutting of trees and frequent traffic on the road. “it will also distort the identity of the beautiful scenic village,” stated the local resident. Please do share your views and extend support to the Goans.