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Long wait at Agassaim-Cortalim likely to get longer

Panjim: The chaotic traffic situation at both ends of the Zuari bridge will not end but will continue through the monsoon with the proposed parallel road between Verna and Cortalim delayed pending financial sanctions. Effectively, even if the amount is sanctioned by the end of the month, construction of the parallel road cannot be undertaken due to the monsoon.

Traffic troubles along the Verna to Goa Velha route are therefore likely to continue as the government is yet to finalise either a route to divert the traffic or suspend construction activities during the monsoons.

A senior officer in the PWD on conditions of anonymity informed Herald that the construction plan for the parallel road stretch between Verna and Cortalim junction has been approved. “However, due to code of conduct the financial approval is pending and it is expected to be sought only after May 23,” he added.

He further said, “Since the sanctions have not been granted yet, we do not foresee any work on the parallel road to start until October as the four monsoon months will create havoc if we try to do anything during this time. Financial sanctions are expected only after May 23, by which time the monsoons will be at the doorsteps and we have to tender the work and then award it for construction.”

The officer further stated that Konkan Railway Corporation Limited has granted its NOC to use their land for construction of the parallel road. “We have received the NOC from the railways but until we pay the amount we cannot start the work,” he added.

The officer further said that permissions have been granted to divert traffic during the night hours and carryout the works during the night.
“Permission has been granted and once the plan is notified, which is expected any time soon, the company will start work on the spans during the night by diverting the traffic. The department does not want to risk even a single life and therefore traffic will be diverted during the night. During the day, the traffic route will be the same as it is now,” he said.

Stating that as of now no alternative plan is in hand as the diversion route which was planned earlier has been opposed and that would not materialise, the officer said that the authorities, which includes primarily the Collectorate, PWD, Traffic and Power, will have to chalk-out a plan for better traffic management on the route.

Earlier this month, Herald had reported that the construction plan had been approved, and the PWD had claimed that the parallel road would be tendered and completed in one month.

In December, PWD had proposed traffic diversion from Birla junction via Sancoale village to facilitate the ongoing works. The diversion would have increased the travel on Verna-Cortalim-Panjim route and vice versa by 18 kilometers each way and cause immense hardship to the commuters. The proposal had been opposed and was subsequently discarded. [H]

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