CANACONA: After dillydallying for 2-weeks, since a youth has lost his life in a mishap, PWD (NH) is finally temporarily installing Crash-barriers as a stop-gap arrangements in place of the old mutilated crash-barriers at the treacherous accident-prone sharp curve at Karmalghat.
Workers were seen erecting strong pillars and a JCB was pressed into service to install the crash barriers, exactly at place where previously existing crash-barriers were crushed and mutilated by frequent mishaps, keeping the sharp Curve vulnerable for accidents.
However, the crash-barriers in the form of iron-plated railings though narrow in width, are of higher gauge capacity, which would effectively stop any vehicle especially the lighter-vehicles going down or falling over the narrow ghat-road into the gorge below’, informed a workmen at the site.
It may be recalled that following a fatal mishap at the sharp and treacherous Curve on Karmalghat, a fortnight ago, chorus grew stronger for immediate widening of the narrow NH-66 road at Karmalghat to Gulem section.
Various options were put forth even as Forest department stopped road contractor for carrying out any works at the site, stating PWD has not obtained forest clearance for the works.
Concerned residents, including environmentalists, social activists and opposition politicians corned the authorities and the government for their failure in carrying out any constructive measures for stopping the frequent mishaps that engulfs the highway road section in Canacona.
The previously existing crash-barriers were reduced to a heap of iron waste, after the barriers, large iron plates were frequently got hit and destroyed by heavy vehicles involved in mishaps taking place constantly.
While forests stropped works, Forest minister Vishwajeet Rane tweeted not to block any works by PWD (NH), whereas PWD was reluctant to undertake any permanent works in the absence of a clear-cut forest clearance.
PWD Engineers have even informed of constructing a protection wall at a height of one and half feet above the road and also increasing the road-width atleast half a metre, however, two days ago fixed flexible plastic spring posts to warn motorist from straying beyond the posts.
While there were frequent traffic snarls and unwanted situations, and on people’s demand, policemen were placed to regulate the traffic.
The erection and restoration of Crash-barriers works which incidentally began on Thursday, were continued on Friday as a JCB was pressed into service, and policemen placed on either sides of the slope at Karmalghat, traffic was largely controlled and allow to pass-on.
At the beginning of last week (Monday) a 23 year old youth from Mumbai, holidaying with his friends in Goa had died on the spot after their Car fell over the unprotected sharp-Curve and landed into the deep gorge, while almost on a daily basis, one or two mishaps mars the Karmalghat –Gulem section of NH66 road.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, a loaded truck fell on its side off the Karmalghat road. However according to police no one is injured in the mishap.