Ponda: PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar on Wednesday inspected the landslide spot at Kerya Khandepar and assured the people that the road would be reopen for traffic in another four days.
Stating that he was well aware of the hardships faced by people and students due to landslide at Kerya, the minister said, “After discussing with the officials of National Highway on how long it would take to clear the landslide, it is clear to me that at least four days will be needed to clear the landslide debris as well as to cut the hill in a scientific manner for the safety of road users.”
Slamming the political parties who criticised him for the landslide, the minister asked them not to politicise the issue.
Explaining the reason for the landslide, he said that the hill was cut straight vertical at 90 degree because land could not be acquired by NH authorities due to objections from landowners.
“Despite several efforts by NH authorities since 1991, the land could not be acquired. As a result, the authorities cut the hill only upto the acquired portion and it was cut vertical leading to landslide,” he said.
However, after the landslide, he said, the Collector has directed to cut the hill under disaster management provision; besides, the land owners have also issued their NOC for the work.
Taking note of the hardship faced by the people and students from Usgao and Khandepar, who have to take a detour of 15 kms to reach Ponda, the minister provided three buses for their transport throughout day free of cost for the next four days – till the time the highway is cleared of the debris. [H]