The Navelim civic and consumer forum (NCCF), at a meeting on Sunday, unanimously resolved to oppose the widening of the existing NH 17 to 60 metres, and has condemned the attitude of the Central government of “issuing threats of diverting the highway”. A press note issued by NCCF says that taking the highway through the heart of Goa would destroy the sate. According to the release, NCCF members were of the view that the existing highway could be widened to a double lane with a width of 25 to 30 metres, “which is sufficient for Goans”.
“No doubt super expressways are required, but you cannot pass them through our peaceful towns and villages. Members regretted that this is one more attempt by the government to destroy the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Goa. Moreover this route is supposed to be handed over to a private firm on BOOT basis which means every time we use the road we will have to pay a toll which will be a further burden,” the press release signed by NCCF secretary Joseph Vaz says.
Pointing out that the compensation offered of Rs 8 per sq metre, was “absurd and daylight robbery of our houses and properties”, the NCCF release says that “since Navelim is fast developing area, taking the bypass through Navelim will cause lot of inconvenience to the residents”. It has suggested that the alignment be modified in such a way that both Navelim and Chinchinim villages are avoided.