Highlighting large-scale paddy crop damage following inundation reportedly caused due to `the construction of the western bypass without proper culverts,’ the villagers, on Monday, during the joint inspection of the bypass road stretch passing through Seraulim reiterated their demand for the construction of the road on stilts to prevent flooding.
The Seraulim panchayat had demanded for the joint inspection of this western bypass road, (particularly next to the wholesale fish market) with the officials of concerned departments to assess the impact of flooding, and propose remedial measures for the future.
“Today, water was flowing in reverse direction. The paddy fields are all flooded. We demand free flow of water and that is possible only when the road in this low-lying area is constructed on stilts. When we demand proper road with free passage of water, the PWD (National Highway) is proposing signals at the intersection of the village road near the wholesale fish market. It is absurd. We are already inconvenienced with the railway level crossing,” said sarpanch Domingos Fernandes and panch Kevin D’Souza, while speaking to the media, at the site.
The villagers threatened to approach the court of law as they have ‘a lot of evidence.’
Several villagers besides the elected representatives, who were present at the site, explained how badly they have been affected.
Eulogio Gomes, a farmer, said that he has never seen water getting accumulated in the paddy fields in the past.
“Construction of the Western bypass has affected many local farmers. The WRD assured to compensate us, but the saddest part is that we cannot go for double cropping,” he added.
Assistant engineer of the PWD (National Highways) Rajesh Gaude said that the department will decide what safety they can provide to these people.
He, however, outrightly stated that the government has not accepted the proposal of constructing the road stretch on stilts as the cost involved is high, but added that the PWD would construct additional culverts along this stretch for the free flow of rainwater.
He also stated that waterlogging has occurred because the River Sal is not desilted in those areas.
He opined that all the departments have to sit and find out a solution to the problem.