NHAI’s realignments to reduce demolitions in Goa are not acceptable to the people who would be affected and they want NHAI to construct diversions so that their houses could be saved.The people said they would agitate and not allow the widening to happen according to the proposed realignments. Addressing the media, the National Highway Diversion Action Committee (NHDAC), comprising affected persons on NH 17 and NH 4-A, demanded that Union road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath, who arrives in Goa on Tuesday, give them an audience. They also want him to meet the affected people at an “open forum”.
At a presentation on Saturday to people affected by NH 4-A widening, the PWD had explained that a realignment had reduced demolitions from the earlier 596 to only 168. Terming the presentation “an eyewash”, NHDAC convenor Sunil Desai said that even with the reduced width, the highway will still be on people’s doorsteps and the noise pollution and the vibrations will make living unbearable. “We are totally opposed to the new alignments. We demand diversions,” he said. Porvorim-based former minister Fatima D’Sa, affected by NH 17 widening said, “People have shown great patience till now but the situation may go out of hand if the government does not listen. Our representations and meetings with all local leaders have proved futile.”