Chief Minister Digambar Kamat along with PWD Minister Churchill Alemao called upon the new Union Surface Transport Minister and new Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and told them to adhere to the House Committee recommendations with regards to widening the National Highways in Goa.
Briefing media persons at Margao, Digambar Kamat pointed out that it was necessary to meet the new guards in the surface transport ministry since not only the minister but even the Chairman of NHAI were changed.
He said the new Minister for Surface Transport CP Joshi was told in clear terms that the state government will not be able to support the project if the recommendations of the House Committee and the report of the joint inspection by PWD and NHAI were ignored while widening the highways in Goa.
It may be recalled that people from different parts of Goa had taken to the streets protesting against the widening of the two highways that run through the length and breadth of Goa and following protests in the Assembly, a House Committee was constituted to resolve the issue.
The House Committee in its report had given details of how the highways should be widened by clearly demarcating areas where the width should be 35 mts, 45 mts and 60 mts. Besides, the House committee also identified places where elevated roads, road under bridges, road over bridges and bypasses were to be constructed.
The joint inspection of the route by PWD and NHAI authorities had identified the inhabited areas through which the highways were passing and worked out modalities to reduce the damage to people’s houses and other structures.
“We have also reiterated our demand that Goa be given special consideration vis-à-vis the toll and stressed the need to exempt light motor vehicles from toll,” said Digambar Kamat.
Meanwhile, Churchill Alemao said the government will not complete the land acquisition process until the Ministry for Surface Transport allays all the fears of Goans.