BHOMA: Tense situation gripped at Bhoma as several Bhoma villagers were detained by Goa police for obstructing PWD officials demarcation work for national highway expansion.
The PWD officials continued their work of demarcation in presence of heavy police force.
As per information, when the officials reached for Bhoma for demarcation, the locals obstructed the officers asking them to stop.
The villagers, including women, sternly warned the government that they are prepared to defend their homes, temples, and village from destruction, vowing not to allow the government to divide their community with its highway expansion plan.
“The government has fooled us. They are forcefully doing the demarcation and they dragging us and detaining us,” said a local women
The villagers also criticised the government for constructing an elevated road in Porvorim at a cost of Rs 600 crore to protect the properties of the wealthy and migrants while spending only Rs 10 crore in Bhoma, effectively destroying the village.
Speaking further, they pointed out that while bypasses are usually constructed to safeguard villages, Bhoma appears to be an exception.
“Despite an agitation for a bypass leading to the cancellation of the NH expansion plan in 2012, the project has been revived, contradicting the Regional Plan,” the villager said.
He further divulged that the proposed land acquisition would cover an area of 45,000 square meters, including 1,030 square metres of land belonging to a temple.
Bhoma villagers last week reminded the Bhoma-Adcolna Panchayat of its assurance given at the recently held gram sabha to discuss the National Highway widening issue with Chief Minister.
They said that 15 days passed since the gram sabha was held but so far no appointment or meeting has been fixed with the Chief Minister which they are eagerly waiting for.
It may be recalled that following stiff opposition at the gram sabha to the proposed NH widening at Bhoma, sarpanch Damodar Naik had pacified the villagers assuring them that the panchayat is with villagers and that he would lead a delegation of locals to meet Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to discuss issue.
Following the land acquisition notice, there was panic among Bhoma villagers, who were forced to run from pillar to post by visiting several government departments to scrap the proposed NH widening which they feared would divide their village into two parts, displace their houses and affect temples.
Sanjay Naik, who is spearheading the villagers’ agitation, said that the locals are unaware of the exact widening plans. They have even filed petition in the High Court on the issue and so far three hearings have been held.
He said that the locals have suggested a bypass as the only solution to the problem.