OLD GOA: The twin panchayats of Divar island namely Sao Mathias and Goltim-Navelim have urged the government to rollback the hike in ferry charges.
Both the panchayats have already sent a resolution to the RND minister, chief minister and other authorities demanding rollback of the hike.
Speaking to The Goan, Sao Mathias sarpanch Supriya Tari informed that her panchayat has already sent a resolution demanding rollback in the prices as it would adversely affect the Divadkars.
“The ferries are the only option for us to travel to mainland and we demand that the government withdraw the new charges,” Tari added.
Goltim-Navelim sarpanch Mario Pinto also said that the panchayat has sent resolution to the CM Pramod Sawant, RND minister Subhash Phaldessai, MLA Rajesh Faldessai demanding that the notification be withdrawn immediately.
“At today’s gram sabha also, the villagers have resolved that the hike in ferry charges be withdrawn. If the government wants they can charge the tourists to shore up their revenue,” Pinto stated while adding that the RND minister should first work towards plugging the revenue leakages in the ferries.
“If the government wants, then the panchayat is willing to lend a helping hand to the government to plug the revenue leakages,” Pinto stated.
Meanwhile, even as the twin panchayats of Divar have demanded rollback in the ferry charges, the locals have decided that they will not pay the revised charges as and when the notification is implemented.
Panchayats protest against ferry price hike
“We will not pay the revised charges and if any attempt is made to force us to pay then we will resort to protests,” former Goltim-Navlim sarpanch Prasad Harmalkar informed The Goan “In the past when there was an attempt made to revise the charges, we had protested and we had forced the government to withdraw it,” Harmalkar said and added that they are ready to wage yet another battle on the issue.
Goltim-Navelim sarpanch Mario Pinto too said that the government should not test the patience of the Divadkars. “The government should go through the past history and not force us to the wall,” Pinto said. Sao Mathias sarpanch Supriya Tari also informed that at a meeting recently the villagers have resolved not to pay the hiked charges.
“Under no circumstances we will pay the revised charges and we will protest till the charges are rolled back,” she added.