The villagers of Verna and Nuvem, along with Nuvem MLA Wilfred ‘Babashan’ D’Sa, expressed their outrage against the increasing number of accidents on the Morod junction on Verna bypass on NH-17, early Thursday 20th April , by blocking the road for about two hours, jamming traffic. The villagers were warned by the Goa police, including SP South Chandan Chowdhary, against causing inconvenience to the public.
In the evening, the Verna police registered a case against D’Sa and 300 others for blocking the national highway bypass at Verna. A case has been registered under Section 143, 147, 341, r/w 149 IPC, and Section 8(B) under the National Highway Act. “Under no circumstances can one block the national highway as the public faces difficulty. There could also have been emergency cases,” the police said.
About 8am, 300 villagers from Verna and Nuvem along with D’Sa gathered on the same road where, on Wednesday, two people lost their lives in two different accidents.
The locals, refused to budge and demanded an immediate solution in the form of re installation of speed breakers. Prasad Panandikar was summoned to the spot, who had to run for 4km to reach them, due to the traffic jam.
The PWD, assistant engineer Panandikar, citing a circular received by the department, told protesters that speed breakers are not allowed on national highways and as such, if present, have to be removed. He, however, assured them that he would write to the ministry of road transport and highways asking for permission to put up speed breakers at the Morod junction. The entire process would take 15 days, at the very least, Panandikar said, to which locals said they could not wait that long and demanded immediate measures.
As an immediate and temporary measure, Panadikar said he would increase the height of the rumblers.
By 10am the Verna bypass was cleared.
It may be recalled that on Wednesday morning, Ahmed Salman, 38, died after his two wheeler was hit by a passenger coach. In a second accident in the afternoon, Aishwarya Salelkar, 17, died after the two wheeler, which she was riding pillion, was hit by a truck. In what may be termed as a coincidence, Aishwarya had lost her uncle and 16-year-old cousin on the same road, 15 years ago.
Pradeep Salelkar is undergoing treatment and is our of danger. He has sustained leg and other injuries. They were hit by Bharatgas truck on the turn. About 15 years back Salelkar’s brother Santosh Salelkar was going to Panjim with his 16 year old son Manguerish Salelkar for cricket selections. Manguerish was a good cricket player. Their car met with accident on the same I’ll fated road causing death of father first and then the son.
Mickky slams protesting citizens
Refering to an incident on Thursday morning where upset locals blocked NH 66 at Verna in protest against two fatal accidents that had occurred on Wednesday, former Nuvem MLA Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco lashed out at the protesters for the “inconveniences” caused to commuters on that route.
Highway should be obstruction free. The side roads can have speed breakers. The curve of the side roads should be smooth to enable this traffic to merge with the highway traffic sans difficulty.