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Residents of Shapur-Ponda gathered at Safa Masjid junction on Sunday with police personnel also deployed at the site to avoid untoward incident.

Ponda residents protest proposed closure of road, seek underpass

Ponda: Hundreds of residents from Shapur-Ponda staged a protest at the Safa Masjid junction on Sunday demanding an underpass for proper access to the areas of Shapur and Chirpute through newly-widened Ponda-Belgaum highway.

Villagers led by panch member Rajesh Naik also threatened not to allow opening of the newly-constructed Curti bypass flyover that starts from Shapur-Safa Masjid junction if provision of an underpass is not made.

As per information, after the opening of the new flyover along the Ponda-Belgaum national highway on the Curti bypass road, residents of Shapur and Chirpute villages will be forced to travel almost 2 km extra to reach their villages while returning from Ponda. 

PWD has decided to restrict the entry for vehicles travelling towards Shapur, Chirpute and KTC bus stand from opposite the Safa Masjid and so commuters arriving from Ponda will be forced to travel to Farmagudi, take roundabout near GVM’s College and then return back to Farmagudi via KTC bus stand road from the other side after the flyover is thrown open.

The much-awaited flyover on the Curti bypass stretch of Ponda-Belgaum highway is almost complete and PWD Minister has assured to unveil it before July 20. Local panch member Rajesh Naik said that thousands of people commute daily on the stretch of road and with the KTC bus stand being a main spot, almost all passenger buses use the route adding, “PWD should have considered construction of underpass at the junction or had made some other provision. But it has only made temporary arrangement by making an opening to the road divider.”

“The new arrangement will automatically increase the traffic flow at Farmagudi circle, which is common roundabout for Dhavali bypass road of Margao highway. It will lead to more traffic congestion making commuting more risky and more accidents will occur,” said Naik.

The Bandora panchayat has also resolved to support the villagers and have written to the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar informing them about it. 

As over hundreds villagers gathered at the Safa Masjid junction on Sunday morning, heavy police force was deployed at the site. Even traffic police were summoned to avoid disturbance to the traffic flow. 

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