MARGAO: As the PWD will be submitting status report on the western bypass work to the High Court during the scheduled hearing on Monday, the farmers of Nuvem are apprehensive of inundation of their paddy fields as the rains till now have already led to water-logging in the low-lying areas.
Based on The Navhind Times’ report on the western bypass which had highlighted how the land was acquired by the government from the farmers and landlords, using urgency clauses, and left unused for the last 14 years, the High Court had taken suo moto action and served notices to the government seeking explanation.
Sources informed that the High Court had sought status report on the work of western bypass being carried out by the PWD after a letter was submitted to the court by a Varca resident.
He had pointed out that the western bypass road work has affected many locals, the sources added.
A visit to the Nuvem-Gorette area, where the construction of the western bypass was in progress earlier, revealed how the water has accumulated on either sides of the kaccha road built by the PWD through the paddy fields.
What indeed has compounded the problem is the fact that the western bypass and River Sal run parallel, and as such the water flowing down from Verna, Utorda, Majorda (North to South) has been restricted due to mudfilling of water bodies and low-lying areas for the construction of the western bypass.
The area between the River Sal and western bypass alignment is water-logged even through the rains have just begun.
Some areas in Girim, Murda, Grande and Duncolim have been inundated.
The rain water flowing down from Raia, Manora and Arlem through the water bodies on the northern side of Dovodem has been blocked due to the western bypass construction on the south of Goroti and this has resulted in flooding in Goroti on the eastern side.
Chairman of the Bio-Diversity Management Committee of the village panchayat of Nuvem Jose Roque Andrade, said, “Disaster management cell of south Goa needs to take a serious view of the flooding of the Nuvem areas due to the commencement of the western bypass work, before it leads to a huge loss of properties and biodiversity. The haphazard and unscientific manner in which work was carried out would certainly create a problem to the villagers. I recall the assurance given to us on April 13 at a meeting held at the collectorate building on the western bypass issue.’’
“It was also decided to stop dumping of slag, flowing into the fields and water bodies by the contractor,” he added.
A local farmer Jose Fernandes demanded with the PWD and other concerned authorities to open all the blocked water channels across the western bypass, and stop the work as heavy machinery and trucks create inconvenience to the villagers.