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Irate Verna residents block highway at Morod

n Demand speed breakers at accident-prone zone n Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa, 300 villagers booked

Story: the | goan | 21st April 2017, 05:09 Hrs

Angry residents of Verna on Thursday morning blocked the National Highway 17 at Morod along the Verna-Utorda junction, demanding speed breakers to control speeding vehicles which have been the cause for a number of 
road mishaps.   
The blockade was withdrawn at about 10 am after PWD engineer Palandikar gave an assurance in the presence of South Goa SP Chandan Chowdary and other police officials that the speed breakers would be laid on 
Thursday itself.
Verna police later booked an offence against Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa and 300 villagers on charges of obstructing 
the highway.    
Earlier in the morning, the blockade started at about 7.30 am and took motorists by surprise, as protestors also blocked the internal road leading to Senaulim-Verna and the other road leading to Utorda.   
They were protesting against the rash movement of vehicles along the highway between Nagoa and Verna which have led to several road mishaps, the most recent being the two deaths 
on Wednesday.   
In order to ensure the success of the blockage, the villagers compelled a tanker driver to position the vehicle in the middle of the road and then removed the vehicle keys, thereby forcing the vehicle to act as a blockade.   
Tempers ran high when around 150 protesters along with their Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa refused to listen to pleas of DySP Dharmesh Angle that he would write to the department concerned for putting up speed breakers. DySP Angle had also requested the protesters that students answering the exams be spared from the road blockade.   
D’Sa told Angle that he had written twice to the authorities about the need for speed breakers, but highway authorities had informed him that speed breakers could not 
be laid.   
“We had informed the media on the day of the accident that we would block the highway on Thursday, and still, authorities did nothing to prevent this (blockade) from happening,” said one villager, who criticised authorities for ignoring and being insensitive to the victims who had lost their lives.   
Said another resident, Tons Fernandes: “The speed breakers were removed in the run up to the BRICS Summit, but they were not laid again despite several accidents. When the bypass along the highway was built about 15 years ago, there were several accidents, as a result of which the speed breakers were laid thereafter. But authorities have deliberately failed to lay speed breakers again after the 
BRICS Summit.”   
The protestors also demanded that the authorities lay effective speed breakers and not the superficial rumblers, which had had failed to control the speed of vehicles.   
The residents also turned down the request to meet TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai at the Collectorate building in Margao at 10.30 am, demanding that Sardesai should, instead, come to the spot to get first hand information about 
the development.