The United Citizens of Chorao held a dharna at Azad Maidan Panaji on Tuesday in support of their long pending demand of a Chorao bridge linking Chorao with Ribandar.
Addressing media, the president of United Citizens of Chorao Shrikrishna Haldankar, said that in the absence of a bridge, the residents face a multiple of problems – water scarcity, power interruptions, and emergency healthcare. Many have died on the way to hospital. College/school students and office goers are highly inconvenienced.
He said that during the nights it is a nightmare as residents cannot reach the hospital on time as the ferry service is pathetic.
Former MLA Krishna Kuttikar who made efforts in getting the authorities to conduct soil testing at five different spots for the bridge was ultimately rejected by the government. Under the leadership of former MLA Dharma Chodankar, a survey and design was also done, but in January 1, 2014 the Citizens Forum was told about the hurdles in acquiring land from the Serula communidade.
The BJP in their manifesto mentioned that within 2 years of coming to power they would construct the bridge. However, even after waiting for nearly three years the bridge is yet to see the light of day. The villagers went on a one-day hunger strike in October 2015 to draw the attention of the authorities concerned.
The Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar at a meeting in Bicholim said that the Chorao Bridge is facing land acquisition problems and without clearing these hurdles the authorities cannot go forward with the bridge.
Haldankar said that if the government wants it can pass the Land Acquisition Law on the lines of Tamil Nadu Land Acquisition Act to overcome the problems of acquiring land for the bridge. He said by giving promises in the manifesto it is like taking an oath to fulfill the aspirations of the electorate.
Trojan D’Mello and Sayyed Salim from NCP, Sunil Khautankar, Anil Hoble Bhandari Samaj president, Vijay Sardessai, MLA from Fatorda, MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco, Christopher Fonseca from AITUC and Shiv Sena chief Goa – state Ajeetsingh Rane and others expressed their support to the Chorao residents.