Monday, April 12, 2010

Quepem villagers condemn South Goa collector six-to-six order

The Quepem villagers at a meeting held on Monday has strongly condemned the decision of the South Goa Collector Shri G.P. Naik allowing mining truck to operate from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm via Quepem town which was taken without taking locals into consideration before issuing his order .

They claim that the collector who is all hand-in-gloves with mining companies is not at all concerned about the problem faced by the civilians due to mining operation. Before taking such a decision by the collector nor the high level committee meeting held on Saturday at Quepem Police station no member of the villagers who are opposing the mining nuisance were taken into confidence.

In both meetings it was observed that some mining contractors and truck owners falsely represented as locals. Although the Collector by its order allow the mining trucks to operate from 6.00 am onward, the truck on Monday started its operation way to early as the mining truck reached Quepem market at 5.00 am. This action of the transport operators were strongly condemned by all the villagers present. This clearly indicated that the mining contractor are law unto themselves as they rubbished the collector's order which was issued to regulate the mining activity. The truck operators and contractor at a meeting held on Saturaday at Quepem Police station in presence of opposition leader Manohar Parrikar, Quepem MLA Babu Kavlekar, Curchorem MLA Shyam Saterdekar and other top bureaucrats had agreed and assured the public through electronic media that only 450 trips will be allowed to operated per day via Quepem Quepem town. However on the first day i.e on Monday of resuming transport the total number of trips crossed 450 trip crossed at 12.00 noon and by end of the day when they ceased their operation at around 7.00 pm the total number of trips crossed over one thousand. Though the police, RTO and Traffic cell who were deployed to monitor the truck operation in Quepem no action was taken against the overloaded mining trucks which were in operation even after 6.00 pm.

All this activities were closely monitored by the villagers who were hoping that the situation after the tragic death of Satish Rivonkar will improve. However truck conjunction was noticed in quepem town starting from the Quepem bridge to Quepem garden several times during the day. Although some trucks were loaded upto to the body level while other were overloaded like earlier. When this was brought to the notice of the RTO who were present to monitor at Ambaulim junction did not bother to take action.

At the meeting the villagers have decided to function in the future under the banner Quepem Taluka Mining Affected Peoples Front. They decided to agitated their problem before opposition leader Manohar Parrikar who will be visiting Quepem on Wednesday. Thereafter the further course of action against the mining transport irregularities will be taken.

Photo in this post shows overlaoded mining truck passing infront of Quepem Road Traffic Officer (RTO).

John Fernandes
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