Chandorkar say NO to State Highway

Meeting

An impressive crowd of residents of Chandor, Cavorim and Guirdolim gathered at a meeting in Chandor on Sunday 22/10/2017 in one voice opposed a State Highway passing through their historic village and further resolved to even come on the streets if need be.

The meeting held in front of the Chandor Church had various speakers highlighting the problem that the people will face if the State Highway passes through the village and also how the state highway was not in the interest of the people but of the industrial sector.

While welcoming the gathering Convener of the meeting Domnick Mendes asserted that the movement was totally a political without having any leanings towards any political party.
History professor Vinok Kankonkar while pointing out that history of Goa is not complete without Chandor said he brings his students very often to Chandor to show them the State’s rich history. “Today tourists come to see the heritage in Chandor and they will not come nor will I bring by students if the heritage is destroyed by the State Highway,” he said.

While pointing out that river Kushawati has always fed the village for centuries, he feared that the river will totally dry up if the State Highway passes through and pointed out that even the Supreme Court in the banning of crackers case had said that health is more important than profits.

Parish Priest Fr. Simao Rodriues in his brief speech said he would always be with the people because their very existence is threatened and also pointed out how the parochial school will be adversely affected with the children not getting any place to play and also facing the risk of meeting with accidents.

“Whenever there is development, development of the human being is of paramount importance and all development should be aimed at that and not to cause trouble to humans or disrupt their way of life,” he said.

Noted environmentalist and social activist Rupesh Shinkre read out a paragraph of the Goa High Court order on keeping NGT bench in Pune and specially read out the description of Goa and reiterated the High Court judge’s noting that “Goa is a land that is truly worth fighting for.”

While stating that the highway was another mean to transport coal in the State, he revealed Mormugao Port Trust plans wherein stacking yards are planned on either banks of river Kushawati passing through the village.

While explaining the danger posed by coal dust to human life and what kind of diseases it will cause, henalso revealed that as per the government’s plan for nationalization of rivers, a Goan venturing into a river will be considered a trespasser. “It is not nationalization but privatization of our rivers,” he said.

He also revealed that India has topped the list of the countries where people are dying due to air pollution with 1.8 million deaths caused by air pollution.

Former Sarpanch of Guirdolim Agostinho Antao listed out the various lies and misrepresentations made by government and officials over the State Highway and pointed out that as per the Village Map of 2011 signed by then Chief Minister Digambar Kamat state highway was not shown passing through Chandor or Guidolim.

“The PWD does not even have a map of the State highway even though they quote a notification of 1997 and further the Collector has banned heavy traffic entering Chandor which would not have been done if the State highway was passing through the village,” he said.

Joy D’Silva in his speech highlighted the various problems that will be caused including destruction and demolishing of church, ground, other religious monuments and houses including heritage houses and warned that there will be no place left to have a meeting like the one underway or even have the fair for the three King Feast in January.

“The government should consult the stakeholders and also the affected people which has not be done in this case,” he said while urging the people to fight unitedly against the State Highway and even take to the streets if necessary.

A short video presentation on how the State highway will affect the village and its inhabitants was also shown.

The meeting ended with the villagers unanimously resolving to oppose the State Highway passing through their village and even come on the streets if necessary to get this demand fulfilled.