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Ghost of ALIGNMENT returns to haunt Cuncolim

23 Nov 2017 | 05:20am IST

Ghost of ALIGNMENT returns to haunt Cuncolim

The seemingly ‘dead and buried’ issue of road alignment has returned to haunt the people of Cuncolim after thirty-odd years. Many fingers point at three politicians, who have teamed up to ensure confusion, chaos and social unrest returns

Vijaykumar Kopre Cuncolim

Sometime during the 80s, the then Congress government had proposed bypass road through Panzorconi to Balli, Patem. People of Cuncolim have opposed this project because there are over hundred-odd houses and some religious structures that come in the way of the bypass.

Cuncolkar fought long battle to scrap the bypass and finally the government had withdrawn their proposal and simultaneously a bypass road parallel to Konkan Railway from Dandevado to Panzorconi was approved by all including locals and government agencies. New alignment of bypass parallel to Konkan Railway track was also found place on the regional plan and people were happy about the proposed bypass alignment parallel to Konkan Railway.

The alignment was approved fifteen years ago, during former MLA Joaquim Alemao’s tenure and the Congress government and then successive BJP governments had accepted this proposal, as it is claimed that the new alignment would have less destruction, less damage and less expenditure.

There are hundreds of structures are coming on old bypass alignment and the government has recently constructed a sports project, spending over Rs 3 crores. Many who oppose the old bypass alignment claim that the move would be a complete disaster, considering houses, shops, some religious structures and even Cuncolim sports project would have to be razed.

People of Panzorconi, Culwada and Comba are worried and even tense after hearing the government decision to consider the thirty-years-old bypass plan.

Social media is abuzz with opinions, counter-opinions and speculations of the involvement of a present MLA, a present minister and an ex-minister to raise the ‘almost dead and buried’ issue of alignment. It is also speculated that these politician are hell bent on avoiding the bypass alignment parallel to Konkan Railway track. Many villagers do not hesitate to air their grievance saying there seems some defined ulterior motive behind the drama.

Rumours mills are also rife with stories all around Cuncolim that the politicians in question are keen on changing bypass alignment only to save huge tracts of land of their supporter and companion.

Another story doing the rounds on social media is that the ruling BJP government is forcing the bypass alignment plan through residential area only to teach a lesson to Cuncolim, since their candidate had to taste defeat in the Assembly election.

Rumour also talk of how the issue has been raised by few only to create confusion and fear among locals. Some politicians wanted to take credit for the move to enhance their prospects later. If one believes social media, there are few who say, a new regional party, which is a part of the current government has created the issue just to press the panic button. These politicians want to create amark for themselves, show people that they had saved their houses and wanted to find a foothold in Cuncolim constituency.

When this correspondent asked the local MLA Clafasio Dias to throw some light on the controversy, Dias said he was in favour of NH17 bypass alignment parallel to Konkan Railway.

“During the time of Joaquim Alemao, we had accepted that alignment and I am surprised to hear from locals that the highway authorities want to scrap the Konkan Railway parallel alignment. I am unaware about this move. I am with the people to oppose the proposed bypass from Panzorconi via Culwada and Comba bypass. I will not hesitate to come on road with public for a right cause”. he clarified.

Local Councilor Udesh Gaonkar asked why the government was creating the issues. “Why were they forcing people to come on road? We will not allow the government to go ahead with bypass from residential area,” he said.

Aam Admi Party leader from Cuncolim, Elvis Gomes said the issues has been purposely dug out to settle political scores.

“Why are these self-centred politicians destroying peace of people. The present bypass road alignment parallel to Konkan Railway track should be maintained,” he said.

People have questioned the silence of the government and want the Chief Minister and the PWD Minister to come clean on the issue.

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