Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, on Wednesday directed the authorities to stop all work on widening the Tilamol to Curchorem road and instead take up on priority the work of constructing a by-pass for mining trucks in Sanguem and Quepem taluka.
The direction came after a large number of locals marched to Margao to protest against the government move to acquire land for widening the existing road instead of taking up the by-pass road. As the Chief Minister was not at his personal residence at Margao, the protestors marched to the Collector’s office where a strong police force stopped them.
A delegation of the protestors then rushed to Panjim and met the Chief Minister at his official residence at Altinho where after hearing them, the Chief Minister asked the district authorities to immediately stop the work of acquiring land for the expansion.
“Although he did not given anything in writing, he has directed the District Collector to keep on hold the land acquisition proceedings,” revealed former Curchorem Cacora Municipal Council chairperson Paresh Bhende.
Locals have been protesting against the lopsided priorities of the government with a hunger strike for the last seven days. Mr. Bhende pointed out that the government appeared to be not bothered about the risk the nearly 10,000 students take every day to cross the road, but was more bothered about providing wider roads to the mine transporters.
Although the Chief Minister gave the instructions to the district authorities, locals have decided to continue with the hunger strike till the official notification is issued in this regard.