Raia, Rachol to unite against bridge


In the wake of the state government's decision to allow Goa state infrastructure development corporation (GSIDC) to go ahead and began preliminary work for the construction of the Shiroda-Rachol bridge, villagers from Rachol and Raia have vowed to continue their agitation and not allow the government to go ahead with their plans.
Both, Rachol sarpanch Joseph Vaz and Raia sarpanch Rumaldo Gonsalves stated that at their gram sabhas held recently, resolutions were passed unanimously opposing the bridge.Gonsalves felt that the bridge would lead to further widening of the roads in Raia to connect to the state highways resulting in demolition of many houses and religious structures while the road will also pass through fields thus destroying agricultural land. The Rachol seminary has also vehemently opposed the construction of the bridge.
"Since the government has already taken a decision to give the financial approval of the same , we are along with like-minded people who are going to be the most affected. We are planning on meeting chief minister Manohar Parrikar and will convey our genuine grievances and the difficulties we will face if the bridge comes up. We have also asked our MLA to raise the issue in the assembly," said Vaz, on Friday.
Vaz added that there are efforts underway to mobilize like-minded people who will be the most affected and together they will convey their opposition and grievances to the government.
"The bridge will encourage traffic right form Mollem-Sanvordem to Vasco and traffic would cut through from Dharbandora and take a shorter route via the interior routes of Raia and Rachol and bring with it heavy vehicular traffic," said Xavier Fernandes, a Zagrut Raikaracnho Awaz (ZRA) member and Raia panchayat member.
The bridge was part of the election manifesto of Shiroda MLA and industries minister Mahadev Naik. It was also a long-pending demand of the people of Shiroda, Panchwadi and surrounding areas. [TOI]