1,000 signatures reached
To: Goa Public Works Department (PWD); Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways
Save Goa's 200-year-old trees: Say no highway through Colvale
Do not let the Patradevi-Karaswada highway project pass through Colvale and destroy 200-year-old precious trees
Why is this important?
A few days after the campaign was started, transport minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar spoke up for the preservation of these trees: "Some of these trees predate our grandparents. We will not permit anyone to touch those trees, neither engineers nor contractors nor consultants."
In the mid 90s, we learnt that a highway would run through Colvale, our village. At the entrance to Colvale (when approached from Mapuca town) were a group of mango trees that formed an archway. The then stray bus or car went under the trees to enter the village. These mango trees are like welcoming umbrellas in our part of Goa. The welcoming canopy also exists in nearby villages Tivim and Assnora. When we heard that the over 150 to 180-year-old trees were due to be cut, my father and I protested. We managed to save those trees and convince authorities to make the highway go around the trees.
Now, we have learnt that these trees may be felled as part of a highway expansion project (Patradevi to Karaswada project). Not just that, the century-old St Anthony Chapel is also set to be demolished. The chapel is still a place of worship for us and we hold Novenas there. Isn’t this against Supreme Court Orders that no religious structures over 100 years can be demolished?
In a game of smoke, mirrors and lies, the PWD and state Government are not telling us Colvalkars the real plan and fate of our village. From a chapel to the trees, we are left in the dark. Doesn’t the Forest Department care for old trees? Doesn’t the Goa Government care about its own villages and villagers?
We must battle to save our village. We cannot allow such scams and public violations in the name of development and progress.