Thursday, 20 April 2017 17:23
Margao: Apprehensive that their village road may soon be notified as a state highway, villagers of Guirdolim and Curtorim on Thursday met town and country planning (TCP) minister Vijai Sardesai seeking an explanation over the issue. What fuelled their anxiety was a notice issued by the excise department to an owner of a bar located at Guirdolim stating the unit was within 500m of the outer edge of state highway - 8.
Referring to the Supreme Court order banning renewal of licenses for sale of liquor at outlets operating within 500m of the outer edge of national or state highways, the excise department's notice conveyed to the bar owner that her licence will be invalid from April 1.
"It is clear from the excise department's notice that SH-8 is passing through the internal roads of Guirdolim and Curtorim. These roads are just 8m wide and in no way can they be categorized as a state highway. Besides, heavy vehicles are banned from Ramnagari to Guirdolim junction on the internal road. If the government intends to make it a state highway, then over a hundred houses will have to be demolished to widen the road," former Guirdolim sarpanch Agostine Antao told REPORTERS.
At the meeting with Sardesai, villagers pointed out that SH-8 is shown in the Regional Plan 2021 as passing from Ravanfond to Quepem via Sao Jose de Areal, Gudi and Paroda. "The road from Ravanfond to Paroda has been broadened as SH-8 and many parts of houses were even demolished for that purpose. The South Western Railway is in the process of acquiring land on the northern side of the railway track and if SH-8 passes through this internal road then many more houses will have to be demolished to make way for it," the villagers pointed out.
Sardesai has assured villagers of clarity on the issue and has convened a meeting of PWD officers and villagers next week.