Tuesday 16 Apr 2024

Mungul locals object to filling of land for bypass when court judgement awaited

Mungul locals object to filling of land for bypass when court judgement awaited


Landfilling activity by the PWD, National Highway to execute the western bypass through the low-lying fields, even before the court could conclude hearing on the controversial issue, triggered an uproar at Mungul with villagers questioning the rationale behind the ongoing work, accusing the PWD of bulldozing with the controversial project.

What has agitated the Mungul residents is the fact that while the high-level expert panel has recommended construction of the western bypass on stilts along the 980-metre stretch between Seraulim and Mungul, the PWD, NH is filling up the portion with mud on the pretext of developing a road to take heavy machinery to commence piling work for the road on stilts.

The villagers were also agitated over the manner in which the land-filing has been executed by the contractor, saying that the road is being built without creating a way for the water to cross over to the other side, fearing inundation of the low lying areas during monsoons.

Cruz Fernandes told the media that questions are being raised by locals whether the village will exist or sink during the monsoons as the PWD contractor is executing the work without taking measures to maintain the water drainage.

“We would like to know whether the PWD has a backup plan if the village sinks underwater for want of a drainage system", he said.

Cruz said that the people are not against the development, but hastened to add that the development should not come at the cost of the village and the people.

He added: “We told the PWD and the contractor to wait for the court to pronounce its judgement since the high-level expert panel has recommended construction of the bypass on stilts up to a stretch of 980 metres. We do not know whom to approach since there is no government in place. The PWD has brought the police on the plea the people are stopping the work. We have not stopped the work, but only want them to wait for the court to give its order. They have refused to show us the plan, but are bulldozing with the land-filling process”.

Cruz wondered why the PWD is executing land-filling up on the other side of the Mungul-Colva road, suspecting foul play by the PWD, NH.

The high-level expert panel, constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to study the grievances raised by petitioner Royla Fernandes, had recommended to the court, the construction of the western bypass on stilts up to a stretch of 980 metres. Benaulim resident Royla Fernandes had moved the NGT with a plea seeking directions to the PWD, NH to build the balance 2.75 km stretch between Seraulim and Benaulim on stilts.

Though the court is yet to give its final order, the PWD, NH has started work on the construction of a road on the plea that it is required to transport heavy machinery along the 980 metres to construct the road on stilts


Will call for inspection to

ascertain situation: Venzy



Benaulim MLA-elect Capt. Venzy Viegas has said that he would call for an immediate inspection of the western bypass stretch to find out about the work being carried out by the contractor.

Stressing on the need to build the bypass between Seraulim and Benaulim on stilts, Venzy said there is no other option other than constructing the bypass on stilts to stop long-term damage, not only to the environment but for human beings as well.

“I will take up the western bypass issue passing through Seraulim and Benaulim villages in Benaulim constituency. I will call for a site inspection to ascertain the factual ground situation", he added.

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