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Lives put to risk over ‘petty politics’ in Barcem
June 20, 2012
CANACONA: Two women and three schoolboys had a lucky escape after a culvert gave way when miscreants reportedly blocked a rivulet at Khedem in Padi-Barcem on Tuesday morning.
Residents have blamed petty politics for the incident, even as Collector (South) N
D Agarwal, who visited the site late Tuesday evening, has suspected sabotage in the incident.
The impact was such that one of the culvert pipes and a portion of the road were washed away. However, the PWD made temporary arrangement by filling mud to connect the area cut-off with the mainland.
According to PWD (Works Division-XXV) Executive Engineer Rajan Nair, the three-pipe culvert and a Kutcha road leading to Khedem, constructed under RDA, was re-tendered by the PWD.
“Work on the 900-mtr road and 6-mtr span concrete culvert over the rivulet had commenced, but was halted due to objections from some quarters over a land dispute,” Nair told Herald during a site inspection.
Villagers complained to the collector and PWD officials that miscreants had placed huge wooden logs near the culvert, blocking the water and the situation was compounded by heavy rains on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
“Due to heavy accumulation of water on one side, a culvert pipe and entire side of the road gave way at about 7 am on Tuesday, while people and children were heading towards their work and school,” said the villagers.
The three schoolboys who escaped the incident said they along with two women were about to cross the culvert, when the road gave way.
When Agarwal enquired if there had been any casualties in the incident, the boys replied in the negative.
“We were behind the two women and we know for sure no one was ahead of them and we are all safe,” a visibly shaken Sarvesh, who is a Std 11 student at Balli Higher Secondary school, told the south Goa collector.
The two women then warned the others not to go near the culvert.
“Prima-facie, it looks to be a case of sabotage,” the collector told Herald.
When asked if an enquiry would be conducted, the collector said he would await a detailed report from PWD before deciding in the matter.
Ward panch and Padi-Barcem Deputy Sarpanch Bambto Velip were not available for comments, but residents at the site said petty local politics had led to the collapse of culvert and the road.