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Curchorem villagers seek removal of school gates

Curchorem: Residents of Bepequegal, which is in the jurisdiction of Curchorem-Cacora Municipal Council (CCMC), have threatened to stage a dharna if the gates put up by a school management allegedly blocking public roads are not removed immediately and have sought action against the management for obstructing public access.

It may be recalled that the school management had put up gates at the mouth of three roads near the school to protect the students from getting involved in accidents. Three accidents had occurred wherein students were injured by speeding two-wheeler.

Citing the ruling of the Supreme Court that the safety of the students should be ensured by taking appropriate measures, the school had put up the gates with villagers coming out in opposition.

CCMC chief officer Kapil Phadte had held a meeting of the concern parties during which after detailed discussion, nod was given to put up the gates.

However, local residents have formed ‘Bepquegal Residents Front’ to protest. The front has submitted a memorandum to CCMC chief officer Phadte stating that the putting up of gates by the school management is illegal.

According to the front, there was a police station during Portuguese era at the place where the school building stands. Now, the said place has been leased out by the government to a new educational institute. Only one third area of the said land was allotted to them to construction and rest was supposed to be kept open for the public movement, they said.

The memo further states that the construction of gates is a violation of Supreme Court order wherein it has been stated that the obstruction of public road should be removed immediately. Article 174(1) envisages powers to chief officer to demolish such illegal construction without giving any notice in public interest, it adds.

The front has threatened to stage a dharna in front of the CCMC building if their demand is not met immediately. Further it has also demanded action against the school management for the “illegal” construction. [NT]

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