CANACONA: Amidst growing concerns over the protection of ecology and environment, NGO Goenkar thanked Goa Forward Party chief Vijay Sardessai for representing the issue of NH-66 road Karmalghat Section with the Union Minister for Roads & Transport Nitin Gadkari.
NGO Goenkar blaming Canacona MLA and GLA Speaker for not processing the issue as per people’s aspirations by protecting the ecology and environment, stated GFP Supremo has convinced the central agencies of the inconsistent need in safeguarding our mother nature as we contimue our journey on development path.
Addressing a pressmeet, NGO Goenkar informed they have been time and again following up with the authorities as to how the Karmalghat section of NH66 is developed for for the advanced NH66 road. ‘Durnmg the time of Ex-Canacona MLA and Dy. Speaker Isidoere Fernandes had facilitated an audience with the authorities when Goenkar sought clarifications as regards to 4-laning of Karmalghat section.
‘The authorities informed us , that it is not yet decided and they had no idea. In the meantime we started with a Save Karmalghat movement, and after taking the views of people including the people in social service, educationists, and everyone opined that a Tunnel is the olny solution at Karmalghat.
We accordingly wrote to PWD and Forests , but then election came, and after our Canacona MLA became Speaker we again met him and put forth our views and simultenously also addressed to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari who after stating he himself also feels there should be tunnel at Karmalghat assured us to look at the feasibility report.. at that time, we also submitted to him a report which stated a Tunnel is feasible at Karmalghat.
Thereafter a meeting was held with PWD minister, and officials where it was accepted that to avoid major environment and ecology damages, a tunnel should be constructed at Karmalghat.
Simultenously, We also approached courtm and when court asked PWD (Central and State) as well a central and state forest ministries as what are plans for karmalghat, they informed the planning is still underway and not yet decided, so court gave orders that, whatever decision is taken is informed to us(Goenkar) and the case was closed.
As part of our follow-up, we met GFP supremo and presented our say to him as to the environmental concerns,and requested him to reach our concerns to Union minister for Road and Transport Nitin Gadkari. ‘We did this because according to us, our own MLA was not doing anything to protect the Karmalghat.
We need development, we need roads, we need highways , our belt is tourism belt, the visitors have increased and so are the accidents, so if we keept everything infront of our eyes ,there is urgent need of road developemnts, but do we need developments by killing the environment, Karlaghat? So according to us Sardessai has helped us to keep the right perspective in front of Central ministry.
It is essential government make a case study on the impact of animals and other ecology before anything is decided at Karmalghat as according to us a total of 27000 trees will be destroyed if the existing road is widened for 45 mtrs, which in reality will be 60 mtrs of width (including set-back area), making a huge mess of the existence of the karmalghat itself and destruction of al lthe ecology living there.
When human developments are taking place we had to also protect our ecology and see there is destruction of animals’ we do not have problem for developments, but we should take care that minimum damage is done to flora and fauna.’
Jack Fernandes informed, its not fair to cut the tress to make our developments, we asre definitely heading for disters. We need a highway taking alon and protecting the nature and we gave two options, either a Tunnel or road by Viaduct, so that minimal damages is caused at 1.4 kms length. Otherwise we will have everything including development and money but there wont be nature.
We are already facing the earth warming effects, earlier AC was a luxury, now it has become a necessacity.
This government only wants to bring development, they are hardly concerned of environmental damages they will do. Seeing no hope with Goa’s politicians, we tried to take appointment with Union Minister Gadkari butto no avail, and since we heard Sardessai is likely to meet Gadkari with the issue of Benaulim, we approached him and requested him to present our matter too. Since he put it across the table in reight perspective, we thank Vijay Sardessai forrealizing our concerns.
‘We are still pleading with our Chief minister Dr. pramod Sawant, our own MLA and Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar, without holding any ego please understand we need development, but we all need it by protecting our nature. Please don’t try to do it without showing any reasoble reason. Please think seriously, and do the karmalghat road section through viaduct using stilt pillars ,etc. and lets together protect t the environment.’