BAMBOLIM: Displaced Goan vendors are literally on the streets. The livelihoods of those who had been vending fruits and vegetables for 25 to 30 years were suddenly snatched from them. The North Goa District Collector ordered demolition of their kiosks, near GMC without taking the MLAs of St Cruz and St Andre into confidence. Thursday was Day 4 of their fast. Every day, someone or the other will observe a fast in pursuance of the cause.
The vendors have started the fast on November 22, after the govt failed to start work on the rehabilitation project as scheduled. Till now neither the Chief Minister nor local MLA Tony Fernandes or panch have come to meet them. Meanwhile, work on the demolition of a boundary wall has started.
It was the turn of Leena Shirodkar and Devendra Moraskar to observe the fast on Thursday. “Today four days have passed. Till the govt starts work on the rehabilitation project, we will continue to fast. No one has come to meet us neither St Cruz MLA, nor the local panch,” said Leena. They have given us assurances that work on the rehabilitation project will start, hence we will stay put, till they rehabilitate us, she added.
“All our lives we have worked. We are workers. We are demanding that we be allowed to re-start our kiosks. We also have to make a living. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and our local MLA should think about us. We are requesting that they should come here and solve our issue.” Devendra Moraskar said. “All of us are without work. None of our businesses are working. We are fasting so that once again we begin to earn our livelihood,” said Devendra.
An elderly woman vendor stated that many of them were vending fruits and vegetables for the last 25 to 30 years. “We have intimated the chief minister and the two MLAs. We are waiting for the work to start. We will not stop the hunger strike till the work on the rehabilitation project starts,” she said.
Meanwhile, work had started on demolishing of the boundary wall at the site, on Thursday. It may be recalled that in an early morning swoop on July 1, 2021, the kiosks and structures outside GMC were razed. Notices were served to around 40 persons by the North Goa Collector.