It was Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar’s lung power that resulted in the House Committee on National Highways deciding to drop land acquisition proceedings in areas where there have been objections, while continuing in those areas where land is available and no structures are to be demolished.
At the meeting held on Friday, Manohar shouted his way through to get the committee to agree to dropping the land acquisition proceedings along the National Highway 4-A, while the alignment for National Highway 17 was not discussed.
In principle, along the Panjim-Old Goa section, acquisition will be done only where there are sharp turns while no land will be acquired at Old Goa itself and from there to Ciba’s plant. From Kundaim to Ponda land will be acquired wherever available and to improve the sharp turns and from MRF factory to Usgaon bypass where there are no structures.
Significantly, the House Committee sought time to study the proposal for a bypass at Bhoma and hence acquisition in this sector has been kept on hold.
The House Committee also constituted a sub-committee under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to study the proposed toll structure. Other members of this sub-committee are PWD Minister Churchill Alemao, Power Minister Aleixo Sequeira, Francis Silveira and Victoria Fernandes.
At the meeting on Friday with the exception of Manohar Parrikar and Aleixo Sequeira, the other members which included MLAs representing the constituencies through which the National Highway passes, were by and large silent and extending tacit support to the widening proposals.