Herald has in its possession GSIDC documents that show that there is a flyover planned along the road near the church.
In 2013-14, the GSIDC consultant M/s Construma Consultancy Pvt Ltd prepared a report titled 'Upgradation and beautification of Road network from Seraulim to Colva Beach Phase 1 & 2'. In that document, the scope of work includes “Providing under-passage coupled with flyover near Colva Church at straight length of around 150 metres.”
Herald spoke to the Parish Priest and asked him as to who had brought it to his attention. He said that besides the newspaper, a local Panchayat member named Pio Furtado showed him the plans and asked him to take up the issue.
Interestingly, the second slide which was shown by Chief Town Planner Rajesh Naik also reportedly involves Pio Furtado. Rajesh Naik had informed the public that the Panchayat has sent a proposal to reduce a proposed 15-metre road to 10 metres and to show another road on the Regional Plan which allegedly exists but has not been shown.
Furtado owns a guest house at the end of the existing 10 metres road, which the NGT has ordered to be demolished. If the road is expanded, Furtado stands to lose his land (Survey No 12) adjoining the existing road which is around 6-8 metres. The other road shown by Rajesh Naik is shown as the proposed road in the Regional Plan. However, contrary to Panchayat proposal quoted by Rajesh Naik, there is no road in the area, which comprises Survey Number 19, 26, 27, 25, 29, etc.
Herald spoke to Judith Almeida, a resident of Colva, who informed that there is no road in that area. “The area is filled with sand dunes. Corporate investors have purchased the land in the area and they want road access. Already one case of an illegal road in that area is pending before the GCZMA,” she informed. She stated that if the road comes up in the area, the sand dunes will be destroyed which will lead to erosion and seawater will enter the paddy fields. She claimed that nobody can touch the church and the politicians are using the church issue to fool the people and covertly make changes to the Regional Plan to suit the real estate lobby.
While speaking to Herald later, Rajesh Naik confirmed that he has received only two proposals from Colva lately of the Church road and the Sernabatim roads. However, he does not know of the ground realities of the Sernabatim roads and that he had received the Panchayat proposal for the modification of the road only on Thursday.