Several Mahila Congress workers and residents of Shiroda and Bethoda led by Goa Mahila Congress State Secretary Adv Diya Shetkar, marched to the office of the Assistant Engineer Mr Suresh J Naik, Electricity (Div x, Sub Div II), at Haveli, Curti, Ponda and submitted a memorandum and written complaints to his office condemning the lack of street lights, both in the interiors and on the main roads of Bethoda and the entire Shiroda constituency in general.
Mr Naik assured Adv Diya Shetkar and the residents of Shiroda that he would look into the complaints. He instructed his staff including the Junior Engineer (JE) to find out the reasons for the lack of street lights. The JE stated that the department did not have material and fittings including tube-lights and bulbs for the electrification of the area. He claimed the local Panchayat was responsible for the problem as they have not sent the funds for the purchase of the electrical goods required for the work.
The officials have assured the aggrieved residents that the problem would be sorted out within 10 days. The residents made it clear that they would escalate the matter and have threatened to take a morcha to the residence of the Chief Minister if the problem is not solved.
Speaking to media persons after meeting the electricity department officials, Adv Diya Shetkar said, “For several months now, including the recently concluded monsoon months, the people of Bethoda have been demanding street lights on the main road. The entire stretch of road from the Shiroda Circle to Nirankal is in complete darkness. This is a main road and yet the Govt of Goa has ignored the urgent and crying need for street lights. We had organised a candle light vigil last month to protest against the lack of street lights, but no action was taken. Now the AE has assured us that the problem will be sorted out within 10 days. If this issue is not resolved within 10 days, hundreds of women will march to the CM’s residence on the 11th day.
About 500 residents of Shiroda under the leadership of Adv Diya Shetkar today announced a march to CM Manohar Parrikar’s residence on 23rd December if the problem of street lights, water and other civic amenities is not sorted out and solved within ten days. “Our CM has been harping on Digital India, but in Shiroda people have been living in the Stone Age. There are no street lights in most of the areas, there is no proper drinking water supply. Most of the roads resemble craters on the moon surface and there is zero mobile internet connectivity in the entire area.