Residents of Navelim village, a panchayat area on the outskirts of Margao town in South Goa, have been protesting against a proposed highway called the Western Bypass for National Highway-66. The project is proposed by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and executed by the state Public Works Department. Nearly 4.5 lakh square metres of land have been acquired since 2003 under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 by invoking the infamous urgency clause. Residents have been protesting since 2015 alleging that the road construction is progressing in areas outside those acquired. They have expressed concern that construction over wetlands will raise the risk of floods. Nearly half of the land acquired is under active paddy cultivation, while almost 1,400 trees will be cut, for which the state forest department has given clearance. People have written to the state government and also held several demonstrations at the site where work is in progress. In May 2016, the people demanded that the bypass should be created on stilts. However, the state government was not very keen and instead promised to rebuild houses that will be demolished. In August 2016, the Navelim panchayat passed a unanimous resolution demanding the bypass project to be scrapped. But when no action was taken, some locals threatened to move the National Green Tribunal. In March 2017, they blocked the road to prevent construction. Following this, the government held subsequent meetings with the local people at the site and decided in March 2019 to revise the proposal of converting pipe culverts into box culverts (culverts are structures used under roads enabling water to flow from below). But the people continued with the opposition. In July 2020, South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha pledged her support to the public demand to build the road on slits.
Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources, Opposition against environmental degradation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute
What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Out of Court
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Protests/marches, Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Public Works Department, Navelim panchayat
PSUs Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict: