TWO VERY EMPHATIC VICTORIES FOR AAM AADMI AT LAST! By Freddy Agnelo Fernandes

After a lot of representations and protests the people of Curchorem have somehow won their battle for a bypass road exclusively for the heavy mining traffic, two of the local leaders took upon themselves to go on an indefinite fast in protest against the proposed four-lane road from Quepem to Sanguem through Curchorem and in support of the by-pass road for the mining traffic.
It has been a long and hard fight against the financial and muscle power of the mining fraternity who in cahoots with the politicians and the police were riding the rough sod over the local people for a long long time, a lot of innocent people lost their lives too, under the wheels of the mining trucks. Even after the apathy of our politicians and the authorities to resolve the problems, the people did not loose hope and continued their fight with courage and conviction against the erring mining traffic and the pollution they caused. Finally their efforts bore fruits, as the land acquisition process for the four-lane road has been halted and the by pass road process has been forced to expedite. Our government finally yielded to the power of the people.
If it has been the collective efforts of the residents of Curchorem under the GRM that led to this emphatic victory, in Cuncolim it has been the fight of a lone ranger, facing the fire from the bigwigs in the Cuncolim Municipality and the local MLA. One farmer has been fighting tooth and nail to protect his fields, which sustains his large extended family.
He has gone for courts to courts on this brave journey that ultimately culminated in him going on an indefinite fast to prove his point, his own lawyers hand in glove with alleged politicians took him for a jolly good ride even through the corridors of the supreme court, but he did not give up hope, for he knew that that his basic constitutional right to live was being violated by none other than the Urban Development Minister, Joaquim Alemao and the Cuncolim Municipality he supported.
While elder brother the PWD minister Churchill Alemao has been giving nightmares, trying to destroy the lives of Goans along the national highways through it’s expansions and people living on river banks by unwanted bridges, the younger brother Joaquim Alemao has been drawing his guns on poor farmers in Cuncolim. It looks like the brothers have conspired to irk Goans every which way they can.
I salute Ajit Parulekar, Paresh Bhende who selflessly went on hunger strike to support their fight against the mining traffic and the eighty year old Vishnu, the lone farmer who fought with all he had to save his fields against overwhelming odds so much so that the urban development minister was made to eat the humble pie. Here is a person who has a will that has no parallel in Goa. I hope his acts will encourage others who suffer silently at the hands of politicians who think they are Gods on earth.
We have two examples, one of a single handed effort, taking on the might and flak of the powerful politicians and that of a collective effort taking on the mining mafia and they are both invaluable in their own ways. They have remarkably established, that if there is a will, there is always a way.
I hope every Goan takes a note of these two remarkable efforts and fight with courage and conviction to save what’s left of our beloved Goa for us and our posterity.

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