Goa: Bhoma Residents Oppose Survey Of Trees For Road Widening; Detained By Cops

Goa: Bhoma Residents Oppose Survey Of Trees For Road Widening; Detained By Cops

Over hundred, including seniors & women, obstruct highway officials on survey work; people taken to Collem police station, later released.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Thursday, December 21, 2023, 06:23 PM IST
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The Goan Network

Old Goa: Over hundred locals from Bhoma, including the sarpanch, were detained by the police for opposing the survey of trees for road-widening work.

The police detained the locals after they refused to allow the highway officials to go ahead with the survey of the trees which would be felled during the road-widening work.

Irate locals demand road-widening plan

The locals demanded that officials first explain to them the road-widening plan, in particular the total area that would be used for the road widening and how many structures would be affected.

However, the executive magistrate Ruchika Birje informed that they will only conduct the survey of trees and leave the site. But the locals were firm in their demand that the plan has to be explained to them first without which they won’t allow the survey to go ahead.

'We will not allow survey work'

“Also, the issue is in the High Court and till the time that the matter is not decided, we will not allow any survey work,” leader Sanjay Naik informed the officials. DySP Ashish Shirodkar then advised that the locals should obtain the stay from the HC to stop the work. “Unless there is a stay obtained, we cannot halt the survey work,” Shirodkar informed.

But the locals claimed that the highway authorities were deliberately dragging the HC matter on one pretext or the other, due to which they are unable to get a stay. “On one hand, highway authorities are deliberately delaying the HC matter and on the other hand, conducting survey for road widening,” Naik informed and stated that they won’t allow the survey to go ahead.

After a long parley, the surveyors started the survey of the trees by marking them with numbers. However, the locals objected to the activity following which magistrate Birje gave a final warning to the villagers to allow the survey to go ahead. With the locals in no mood to listen, Birje then directed the police to detain the villagers so that the survey could go ahead.

Following which the police started forcibly detaining the villagers in one of the three buses that were brought specially for the purpose. Among the detainees included several senior citizens and women. After that, the surveyors started marking the trees.

The Goan Network

Sarpanch tells locals to wait till HC verdict

Bhoma sarpanch Damodar Naik then arrived at the scene and tried to persuade the highway officials that they should at least wait till the HC matter is decided.

When the officials refused to listen, Naik along with another panch then urged the police to detain them as well. Apart from the sarpanch, several other villagers also were detained and taken to Collem police station in the remaining two buses.

They were released only after the survey work of the trees was completed at around 4 pm.

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