The National Highway Diversion Action Committee defying section 144, on Tuesday held a massive rally to oppose the widening of National Highways in present alignments.
A large number of people from all over the state gathered at Azad Maidan, Panjim and marched through the streets of Panjim shouting slogans and displaying placards. They were stopped near Mandovi Bridge when they tried to make their way to the Secretariat, Porvorim. The scuffle lasted for about 5 minutes and rally turned into a public meeting at the bridge itself.
NHDAC Convener Sunil Desai said that if the issue is not solved by 23rd November, the committee will approach the International Forum to fight against the injustice besides also taking the agitation to the villages.
He warned the Government that this will be their last opportunity. Speaking further, he stated: “We will continue to fight till the government revises the present alignment. We are not opposing highways but we are opposing the present alignment.”
The NHDAC also demanded that the highways be constructed as per the alignment proposed in the Regional Plan 2021 which is scheduled to be notified shortly.
The agitators blocked the Mandovi Bridge for almost two hours which heavily affected the office-goers returning home. The KTC area and new Mandovi Bridge was in a chaotic condition for almost two and half hours.
The agitation was supported by BJP members whose MLAs Francis D’Souza and Mahadev Naik were present for the rally which was also addressed by BJP MP Shripad Naik.
Other prominent personalities who were present for the rally were former Convenor of Goa Bachao Abhiyan Dr. Oscar Rebello, former ministers Matanhy Saldanha and Fatima D’Sa and Trade Union leader Christopher Fonseca.