BICHOLIM: The High Court has ordered three mining companies from Shirgao village coming under the jurisdiction of Bicholim taluka to contribute Rs 4 crore towards desilting of farms and rivulets existing in Shirgao village with an intention to once again rejuvenate farming . With this order, Shirgao villagers have won 12 years fight against mining companies as claimed by Dinanath Gaonkar, a local, who was a forefront runner of this law suit.
The desilting work was started at the hands of Padmshree awardee Norma Alvares on Sunday. Also present on the occasion were Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation, Shirgao sarpanch Sadanand Gaonkar, Anamika Ghadi, Dinanath Gaonkar, former sarpanch Atchut Gaonkar, K P Naik, Keshav Deshpande and others.
According to information provided by a local Dinanath Gaonkar, around 125 villagers had filed a public writ petition in High Court about 12 years ago that mining companies should compensate the farmers against the losses they have suffered. He told that the result of this case was declared recently and accordingly the High Court has directed three mining companies (Vedanta, Bandekar and Chowgule mining companies) to contribute an amount of Rs 65 lakhs each and in addition Rs 2 crores from district mineral fund towards desilting of farms and rivulets that were destroyed due to entering of mining silt, repair of destroyed khazan bandharas, manas etc. He added that 80 thousand hectors of land will be cleaned and WRD has awarded this contract to Abhinandan buildcon, who are supposed to complete this work within 240 days. He also said the contribution of Norma and Claude Alvares towards helping farmers in this case was outstanding.
In her speech, Norma Alvares congratulated villagers for this victory and called upon them to undertake farming activity on a large scale and to make a green revolution. Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation called upon villagers to remain united and to put efforts to make framing a grand success once again.
Sarpanch Sadanand Gaonkar said finally farmers got justice.
On this occasion, Claude Alvares and Norma Alvares were felicitated at the hands of sarpanch Sadanand Gaonkar while, farmers Dinanath Gaonkar, Sadanand Gaonkar and others were felicitated at the hands of Claude Alvares and Norma Alvares.
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Couple injured in accident
A couple from Taleigao was severely injured in a strange accident involving three vehicles that took place on Saturday at Sarmanas-Piligao road.
According to Bicholim police, a couple Rohidas Naik (61) and Sheela Naik (58), residents of Amaral, Taleigao were proceeding from Sarmanas to Bicholim on their scooter bearing number GA-07- H- 6881. A car bearing number GA-05-B-5862 was behind them. When they reached near new plant at Sarmanas, a rikshaw bearing number GA-04-T-5713 collided against their scooter first and then hit a car due to which couple fell down and sustained grievous injuries. The occupants in the car also sustained minor injuries. Three vehicles were also damaged due to this. The injured couple and occupants in the car were rushed to PHC, Bicholim. Later, the injured couple was shifted to GMC and Hospital, Bambolim and is undergoing treatment. HC Sabaji Desai attached to Bicholim police station is further investigating the case.
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