PANAJI: Just a few days after Goemakrponn exposed the major scam in the construction of Atal Setu and the sub-standard work, the Government authorities have yet again shut the Merces arm of the Atal Setu for repairs.
The Order issued by District Collector Ajit Roy states, the General Manager, GSIDC. has requested traffic closure on Northside (Panaji side near Merces Circle) for 03 months from 00:00 hrs of 31/7/2021 to 00:00 hrs of 31/10/2021 to carry out the overlaying/ hot mixing works from Merces Circle to KTC Bus Stand.
“The DYSP Traffic. (N), Panaji has no objection to the closure of the Atal Setu Arm from Merces Circle to carry out repairs at Atal Setu Arm with effect from 31 July 2021. Further Managing Director, GSIDC permission vide email dated 11/08/2021 has requested closure permission for 100 days,” the Order reads..
Further, it says, in the exercise of the powers conferred on me under Sections 115 & 116 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and as recommended by the Dy. Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Altinho 1. Ajit Roy, IAS, District Magistrate, North Goa, hereby order the closure of Atal Setu Arm from Merces Circle to carry out the repairs at Atul Setu Arm from 11 August 2021 for the next 100 days, i.e. ’till 20/11/2021.
Bridge closure for the third time in two years…
The Atal Setu has been closed three times to carry out repairs on the sub-standard work.
Last year too, the Merces arm was closed for traffic to repair the faulty approach road. The closure sought for 30 days was extended over three months.
The Bridge was also closed in the past for pothole repairs.
Sub-standard work, corruption….
The media has repeatedly pointed out the sub-standard work on the Atal Setu, but the government is in denial mode, saying the potholes and defects are superficial.
Even 31 months after the inauguration of the third Mandovi bridge, it is “jaise the” (as it is). There has been no progress in the completion o the Bridge, even as the cost escalation continues.
The Bridge, estimated to cost ₹385 cr then, has cost around ₹581 cr to date, and the work is not done yet.
Indeed, this Bridge has become a goose laying the golden eggs for the government and the GSIDC.
The Bridge, termed as an engineering marvel, has become an “engineering disaster” with several defects and has been closed for repairs many times.
Not just that, the hot mix has given way several times and “n” numbers of repairs have been carried out by the Contractor Larsen and Tubro, which points to major technical failure.
Also, the KTC circle at Panaji has become a mess due to the Bridge piers on the main road.
Forget the failures; the work on the Panaji arm of the Bridge, which was to be fully completed in 2019, has been shockingly abandoned by the Contractor.