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Goa villagers seek President’s intervention to save temples

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Panaji, Jan 9: Villagers of Bhoma in North Goa wrote a letter to President Droupadi Murmu seeking her intervention to save their village, having three temples, from getting destroyed due to proposed expansion of national highway

With support of all the opposition parties in Goa, hundreds of people from village Bhoma of Priol constituency are up in arms against the expansion of the national highway to save temples and houses.

People of Bhoma are against the expansion of National Highway (NH) 4A, claiming many houses will be demolished, along with temples if the project comes to reality.

For last one year, villagers of Bhoma have protested more than 10 times and addressed many meetings, to which opposition political parties, including the Congress, Goa Forward and the Revolutionary Goans Party, have supported.

They have demanded that the Public Works Department should not destroy their village, instead should think of constructing a bypass.

Speaking to IANS, Bhoma villager Sanjay Naik, who is losing his house for the highway expansion, said that many houses will have to be demolished for the distance of around 500 meters.

“We have three temples and two other religious structures, which will be affected if the expansion of the national highway is done. Hence we have sought the intervention of the President, Prime Minister and Union Minister for Highways. We have hope that they will help us to protect our temples and traditions,” Naik said.

“Not only houses, but our temples in the village, which are very close to the existing road will be affected. We can’t allow the government to bulldoze our tradition and culture, where thousands of people gather during festivals and come to seek blessings of deities,” Naik said.

“Decade ago, we had objected to the move of the highway expansion from our village. Later the government had stopped the process. Year ago, suddenly we were asked to accept the settlements after the government acquired the land, that too without intimating us,” Naik said.

“That our scheduled religious rituals and celebration of occasions have been followed since the times of ancestors and this has been inherited by us from our ancestors which is followed by us and carried forward by maintaining it,” the letter to the President said.

IANS

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