Panaji, Nov 21: The adventure of the president of Save Old Goa-Bainguinim Action Committee and Old Goa sarpanch, Nilkanth Bhomkar of riding a motorcycle blindfolded from Old Goa to Panaji on Tuesday to create awareness on the issue of waste disposal plant at Bainguinim may end before the start as authorities have directed the police to prevent his ride.
Bhomkar told The Navhind Times on Monday evening that his programme for Tuesday would be 100 per cent successful. “I am going to ride blindfolded through traffic from Old Goa to Panaji and I am confident of myself that I will neither put at risk either my life nor that of any other person on the road.”
Though the sarpanch is enthusiastic about carrying out this feat, authorities aren’t. When contacted the collector, (North Goa), Nikhil Kumar said, “I have not given him any permission.”
Meanwhile, the deputy collector and sub-divisional magistrate, A A J Fernandes has directed the Old Goa police not to allow the ride. In a letter to the police, the SDM has stated that his office has not given Bhomkar any permission and that the activity sought to be undertaken by him can be dangerous to the participant and public in general and besides causing a traffic problem on the national highway.
Ironically, Save Goa Front member, Aires Rodrigues in a letter to the police has urged them to restrain Bhomkar from committing such an act as “it would be a nuisance and endanger the lives of the local residents.” Bhomkar has plans to ride a motorcycle blindfolded from Gandhi circle to Panaji city at 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday and return driving an open jeep blindfolded.
Bhomkar told this paper that he has been practising riding motorcycle blindfolded for the last 5-6 years, but he did not disclose the source from where he has learnt it. He said that initially his wife was apprehensive about him riding blindfolded but after he took her for a test ride through heavy traffic successfully her apprehension subsided.
On whether the police have granted him permission for the same, he said that the police have “developed jitters and are trying to talk him out of it’’. The general public and the press, he says are not supportive of him though he wished they supported him especially when he is doing this for a good cause. Bhomkar said he has submitted applications seeking permissions from all departments.
The Old Goa police inspector, Vishwesh Karpe said, “We are all set to restrain the Old Goa sarpanch, Nilkanth Bhomkar from undertaking motorcycle ride blindfolded from Old Goa to Panaji via Ribandar to create awareness on the proposed Baiguinim garbage treatment plant on Tuesday.”
He said policemen would be posted along the proposed route and that they will stop him at the starting point itself to avoid any untoward incident, adding that they will not arrest him but stop him from undertaking such a challenge.