Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cotigao bridges hanging by a thread

Almost all minor bridges and culverts which are over 30 years old are on the verge of collapse; locals blame the PWD for turning a blind eye

09 Mar, 2017, 12:51AM IST

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Almost all minor bridges and culverts in the sleepy village of Cotigao, which are over 30 years old, are on the verge of collapse.  The dilapidated condition of these bridges could cause a major disaster in Cotigao, which has not witnessed any changes since Goa’s Liberation in 1961.
The locals have blamed the Public Works Department for turning a blind eye towards these bridges, which could collapse at any given point of time. 
When contacted, an angry resident speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “Why should the common man suffer just because of the irresponsible governance”?
Later, when Herald paid a visit to around five minor bridges, it was noticed that the iron rods were rusted leaving the concrete slab exposed and dilapidated.
When contacted, former Cotigao sarpanch Rajesh Gaonkar said, they had submitted a number of resolutions during his tenure to the PWD to inspect all bridges in the panchayat jurisdiction. At present all these bridges are on the verge of collapse and the PWD will be held responsible for any tragedy on account of their collapse.
Cotigao sarpanch Meena Umesh Gaonkar said that at least on three occasions during her tenure, the panchayat has submitted the resolutions to inspect the extent of the damage caused to all the minor bridges and culverts within the panchayat jurisdiction and to take immediate action. 
She said all the bridges need to be reconstructed on a war footing.
When Herald spoke to the PWD AE, Nagraj Chipkar, he said the estimates for six culverts have been submitted and the work has been tendered. Due to non-sanctioning of funds the same is held up and will be taken up shortly.