PANJIM: Timing its dissent with the arrival of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath in Goa on Tuesday – National Highway Diversion Action Committee (NHDAC) has sounded a warning saying it will resort to agitation if the proposed fresh re-alignment suggested for NH-4A is not withdrawn.
Officer bearers of the NHDAC for NH17 and NH-4A addressing a press conference on Monday here stated that they are not happy with the fresh re-alignment proposed by the government wherein now 168 structures will be demolished as against earlier estimate of 569.
On October 23, the officials of PWD presented a fresh re-alignment to the representatives of NHDAC claiming to save 401 constructions while expanding Mollem–Panjim highway. In the new re-alignment they also offered to reduce the width of the highway in populated area to 35 mts from 45 mts in order to save more constructions.
But labelling the fresh alignment as a “eyewash” Sunil Dessai, Convener, NHDAC said the proposed re-alignment has not yet been approved by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
He said the new alignment is of no use because even if some houses are saved — those houses will be exposed to noise pollution being adjacent to the highway. Also the structures bordering the highway will experience continues vibrations due to heavy load of traffic and fresh alignment “it will create more problems for the people.” he said.
He further said there’s no guarantee that the authorities will stick to fresh alignment and will not demolish more houses because the proposal has not been approved by NHAI yet.
Reduction in width from 45 mts to 35 mts in populated areas: Moreover, he said, reduction of width to 35 mts doesn’t fit into NHAI standards. “During presentation on Saturday at PWD office we questioned them on this and they confirmed that it is not in conformity with standards of NHAI.”
Former Aldona MLA, Fatima D’Sa who is also part of the NHDAC said mere reduction of width will not serve the real purpose because basic idea of expansion of highways is to reduce traffic congestions. “Traffic congestions will continue even after expansion,” she said adding instead the government should go for alternate route.
The office bearers of the NHDAC also claimed that the government has not considered proposals submitted by them wherein they have recommended diversions excluding villages.
House Committee (HC): Exposing lethargy of the government on this issue, Dessai said, the HC appointed by the Goa Assembly in August, to study the problems related to the expansion of two NHSs has not met even once.
The NHDAC also alleged that the government is in a hurry to push the proposal of expansion of the NH to please the Union Minister who has set the deadline of October 31 for initiating the project.
He said, the government will not be able to go ahead with fresh alignment by this month end because land acquisition process has not been completed. “With new re-alignment the government will have to initiate fresh land acquisition at many places and even if the process is expedited it will still need, at least, six months time to complete the whole process,” he added. (HD)


diogofichardo said...

Our successive governments have become puppets and slaves to the central Governments. Kamal Nath is in Goa for more destruction of the state. The National Highway Diversion Action Committee (NHDAC) cannot be faulted for agitation.

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