CANACONA – In an unfortunate turn of events, the Contractor who had bagged 4 Cr NH-66 1.2 Kn stretch of Gulem to Karmalghat Road, was stopped by Forest Department from taking up the works at Karmalghat Sharp-Curve, where a Mumbai youth has died on Monday, after a Car plunged off the unprotected road and fell down into the gorge below.
The Contractor who was supposed to begin the works on Monday, after the road-widening works on the 1.2 km stretch of NH66 to remove the bottlenecks at Karmalghat and Gulem, had instead began his work at accident prone sharp Curve at Karmalghat on Wednesday morning only be stopped by Forest Department citing absence of any NOC from the Forest Authorities.
Incidentally, it may be known that in the mid of last week, Canacona MLA and Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar stating finances and works are approved by Central government to the tune of Rs.4 Cr, the contractor will commence the works from Monday (19-06-2023), has ceremoniously did the inauguration for widening and removal of bottlenecks at accident-prone sharp-curve at Karmalghat.
The contractor after tying a few sticks in place of the broken and dismantled crash-barrier, the contractor left the venue.
On hearing the news that Forest department has stopped the Contractor from executing the legal and much needed works at the accident-prone sharp curve, some angry locals alongwith ex-MLA (Canacona) Vijay Poi Khot gathered at the Karmalghat for the forest department’s move as anti-people.
‘If government fails to do something , stating people will do son on their own, also vowed to repair or build a retaining wall in-place of the broken crash-barriers to provide some safety to motorists from going down into the gorge below.’ Poi Khot said informing people will come back on Thursday and he had also requested PWD Engineers to remain present.
NGO Goenkar President Jack Fernandes, who also accompanied Poi Khot in questioning pW engineers informed, ‘we knew that Speaker informed that he has got the funds approved from centre, and approved tender is also allotted to a contractor, and how Forest department is stopping the legal works, we were surprised to know today that the authorities have not taken any permission nor forest clearance is obtained and the same is still pending.
My simple question is : if the oermission/forest clearance is pending, how the tender-process is completed without complying with all the formalities? Does that means the tendering process is done with formatlities are incomplete and leave the works to be dragged on for wants for permissions? We, know someone has cut around 26 trees on 26th January, reportedly to carry on with this works, why it takes so many months to complete the formalities to do this works?
And if permissions are not in hands, how the works will start, is it the folly of authorities or of politicians? Who is responsible for this accident that claimed the life of a youth on Monday here ? is it bureaucracy or politicians?
Vijay Poi Khot, ‘the road from Mumbai to Mangalore doesn’t need forest permission; these roads are completed, why only roads in Goa and particularly in Canacona are pending for forest permissions?
What Sins have we committed? Now, before all formalities are completed for a permanent solution, we had suggested a temporary solution to stop the vehicles from falling into the gorge at Karmalghat. PWD will erect a Bricks or preferably concrete protection wall right from below (gorge) and at a minimum of 1.5ft height form the road-level. This will also widen the road side by at least a metre, and whenever an eventuality arises of a vehicle going down the road, possibilities of that vehicles tyres will be caught-up in the protection wall and the vehicle will not plunge into the gorge below.
People have rejected PWD’s suggestion to temporarily reinstate the broken and mutilated Crash barriers, they will fall apart after being hit by an vehicle. As PWD AE (NH) Sagar Shet who was called here for joint inspection had informed and promised us that he is starting this work today itself (Thursday) and assured us to complete it in 15 days time.’
‘We don’t want sthis problem to linger on, as everyone knows Canaconcars’ have lots of patience, but if the situation continues to remain addressed, Canconcars wil not lag behind to come on the road to make this road safe for motorists.”
Shri Mallikarjun Devalaya Committee President Vithoba Dessai, Ex-Dy.Chairperson Dilip Kenkre, Shankar Naik, Ajit Poinguinkar, Vishant Prabhugaonkar were present amongst others.