In a major embarrassment to PWD Minister Churchill Alemao, the approach road and under bridge at Majorda was “officially” inaugurated amidst protests by the villagers led by its Sarpanch Visitacao da Silva.
Although Churchill put up a brave face, it was embarrassing that the protestors numbered more than those who accompanied him. Besides, after the inauguration, the under bridge was not used either by the people walking through it or any vehicle passing through as the protestors were arraigned on the other side.
Interestingly, Power Minister Aleixo Sequeira was the only other dignitary to be present as Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Urban Development Minister Joaquim Alemao and Deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho did not turn up even though their names were prominently displayed on the marble plaque installed to mark the occasion.
And though Micky Pacheco’s name was also mentioned as the local MLA, he claimed to have not been informed about the programme even as Churchill asserted that an official invitation was sent to him, which was refused by his office.
Majorda Sarpanch Visitacao da Silva condemned the inaugural function as it was held without inviting her despite being the head of the village while Zilla Panchayat representative Nelly Rodrigues lamented that even she was not invited.
A strong police force led by Superintendent of Police Tony Fernandes and Deputy Superintendent of Police Umesh Gaonkar were present at the site along with Mamlatdar Paresh Phaldessai. In fact, the over 300 police contingent was the largest group compared to the protestors and supporters.
Churchill said he was happy that the under bridge has finally seen the light of the day as the work which had commenced some years back was stopped. He also accused the protestors of being “paid” hirelings of misguided elements.
Micky on the other hand asserted that the locals were with him protesting while Churchill inaugurated the under bridge by getting people from Davorlim and other places. When informed that his name features on the plaque, he demanded to know why the police prevented him from attending the function then.