Fear vehicles that use the service road will damage the pipeline; illegal structures springing up in the area; two murders and thefts have already taken place
PONDA: Agitated residents of Manora-Raia met PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar on Sunday and demanded to re-erect gates on the service road, under which JICA water pipeline passes, to prevent its misuse by anti-social elements.
Speaking to media after meeting Dhavalikar at his residence at Bandora, a citizen, Anthony Fernandes, said, “The minister said he was unaware of the issue and called us to meet him at Panjim on Monday evening to discuss the issue in the presence of PWD engineers.”
Fernandes and other residents said a pipeline from Sanguem dam passes through their hilly area to Vasco and the service road on the pipeline is meant only for the pipeline.
“Earlier, there were gates, but now these gates are opened to make way for the migrants, who have constructed illegal houses on the path,” alleged a resident.
“The migrants travel on this way with their vehicles, which is dangerous as there is the main water pipeline,” said the resident.
The residents claimed that they have sent several letters to PWD, Collector, police, panchayat, health department and also to the PWD minister and chief minister in this matter.
“When the PWD purchased the property from the local residents for the use of water the pipeline service road, the PWD had told the locals that the road will be only for the use of PWD and not for public,” informed a local.
“The PWD had also told that they will erect gates at the starting and ending points of the road so that it cannot be used by any passer by. The PWD erected the gates and also trespass boards as assured,” added the resident.
“But for the last three years, the gates at Manora-Raia have been removed, thus allowing the migrants to use the path for their personal use. The migrants have been constructing illegal structures, thinking that it is a public road and they can use it for their personal use,” added the resident.
The residents said two murders have taken place on the road, while there were incidents of theft of vehicles and illicit activities. “Presently, the area has become a lovers spot as many youth come with their vehicles,” informed a resident.
“We want the PWD to close this road, as people travel in their heavy vehicles. The gates should be re-erected at both ends for the safety of the locals,” demanded the resident.