Local Goa News

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Usgao student crushed to death, locals block mining trucks

PONDA: After a 19-year-old resident of Usgao-Ganjem was crushed to death by a speeding mining truck at Tisk-Usgao, irate locals took to the streets and blocked mining trucks on Saturday. They also warned the Mines Department to either regulate the speed of the trucks or stop ore transportation through Usgao.
The accident took place at 9.15 am opposite Kamla Theatre in Tisk-Usgao. Shubham Shashikant Sakhalkar (19), a college student, was travelling on his Access scooter from Ganjem to Tisk when a truck carrying ore from Codli to Amona collided into him and dragged him for around 15 mts.
After the incident, Usgao locals took to the streets and stopped ore transportation through the village for many hours. They also raised questions over the working of speed governance system initiated by the Mines Department.
The blocked truck drivers, after being given a warning against speeding, were finally allowed to leave Usgao.
Incidentally, this is the third incident of a two-wheeler rider being crushed by a truck in Ponda in two months; the first was at Farmagudi and the second at Bonbag-Durgabhat.
It may be recalled that the Directorate of Mines and Geology had issued a suspension of work order to 538 trucks in the mining belt after public protests over speeding trucks in April. Two women had died in Tilamol after an ore-laden truck ran over them, following which the speed governor system was introduced for the trucks.
Usgao locals have questioned whether this system is working as many trucks still continue to speed. They claimed that truck drivers were speeding to make more trips daily and earn more, and in the process, they caused accidents.
They have stated that there is no control on the speed of mining trucks, which they claimed transported ore even late night and early morning.
The villagers also accused the Mines Department of failing to take action against speeding trucks.
Mahesh Kumar, a local, stated that a few months ago, the Mines Department had imposed a speed limit of 40 kmph and would challan violators. He said this was an eyewash and questioned how trucks were travelling at over 60 to 70 kmph if the Mines Department was really interested in people’s safety.
The locals have demanded that the government either look after the people’s safety or stop ore transportation through Usgao.
It may also be recalled that several people have died in Usgao after being hit by speeding mining trucks over the last decade. Although the Supreme Court had ordered the creation of special mining corridors, no efforts are being made for the same.

Herald Goa News

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