Late night Commuters on the Panjim-Porvorim route are likely to face some inconvenience over the road diversion which has been called by the District Magistrate in view of the ongoing construction work of third bridge across Mandovi River.
The magistrate’s order has authorized the closure of the stretch of road from Hero Honda Circle, Porvorim up to Malim Circle on both sides for all types of vehicular traffic during night from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. for facilitating the work of lifting/erection of segments of third Mandovi Bridge.
“During the period of road closure, only two wheelers, cars and emergency vehicles will be diverted at Malim Circle and near ACDIL high School Junction to proceed via Betim Gurudwara road. All the heavy and commercial vehicles including interstate Buses/Tourist Buses will be diverted at Karaswada junction and at Merces Circle to take alternate route.The above traffic arrangements shall be effective till the completion of work,” says the order.
For those proceeding to Porvorim from Panjim, after crossing the bridge, motorists will have to take the road leading to Malim junction proceed to the Gurudwara junction and take the climb to reach Porvorim.
Further, the District Magistrate has also authorised the erection the traffic sign boards in order to regulate the motor vehicular traffic.
Sources have revealed that “There will be no problem for vehicular movement and this will not lead to any traffic chaos due to the limited number of vehicles on the road during that time between 10 pm to 6 am. This closure is likely not to be continuous; it will be observed as and when required by the contractor whenever the need may be. If the road is closed for four days it will be open thereafter till the next slabs are ready to be installed.”
However, citizens in regard to the above order have expressed fear that the proposed traffic diversions for facilitating the construction of the third Mandovi Bridge could result in traffic chaos because of the narrow interior roads from which the traffic will be diverted.
I would like to question the authorities; were the locals in that area consulted or spoken to before going ahead with this decision? I am not sure whether this will lead to traffic chaos but it will definitely affect those living along this stretch as the road to which the traffic is diverted to is very narrow and in any emergency situation at night can lead to chaos, said Sameer Uttam Kumar, a resident of Porvorim.
However, the Traffic cell has claimed that the road closure and traffic diversion would not affect much as the road will be closed during night time where the traffic is at minimum.
Speaking to Herald, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Dharmesh Angle said “The road closure will not affect traffic flow in any way and necessary arrangements have been done to facilitate smooth flow of traffic during the closure. The road will not be closed at a stretch but on multiple occasions as and when required. We do not want to take the risk and that is why this decision has been taken.”
Meanwhile, Project Director (L&T) Arvind Nerulkar, who is in charge of the construction of the third Mandovi Bridge, has also stated that vehicular traffic will not be much affected.
“We do not want to take the risk of permitting vehicular traffic during anchoring and lifting of deck slab for the ongoing construction of the new bridge. However, in between a gap of one and half hours one or two vehicles might be permitted for some time. This closure will not be continuous; for example there will be a gap of 4 to 7 days in between and until then the road will be opened. If the span is straight it takes around 13-14 days for completion of entire span,” said Nerulkar.