CANACONA: The 80-metre Ordhofond bridge on Talpona river, which is without railing on the Bhatpal side and a damaged portion of the railing in the middle, has been a major concern to the locals here.
If railings are not installed immediately there is a possibility of vehicles or a pedestrians falling below, in the water of the flowing river.
Ordhofond bridge located at Ordhofond, is an important link on the National Highway 66, which connects Goa to South India, over which thousands of motor vehicles pass every day. The bridge has remained without a railing from either side at about 5 metre section of the total 80 metres since the bridge was rebuilt after it was blown up by the Portuguese during Operation Vijay in 1961.
Earlier, there was thick vegetation on the edge of this bridge and the missing railing was not visible due to which no one including the highway authorities took note of it.
However, now with the vegetation cleared it poses a constant danger to the commuters. Again, knowing that the bridge is on a blind curve the authorities have also failed to erect a sign board alerting motorists of the danger ahead.
Concerned locals have been raising the issue for a very long time, but authorities have failed to take note and repair the bridge.
Last year an accident took place on the bridge when a truck dashed against the railing and narrowly missed falling over into the waters, almost 15 metres below. The incident left a sizeable portion of the railing damaged and it has been left in that condition and has been unrepaired ever since.
Enquiries with the local PWD highways officials revealed that they have done the estimates and forwarded the file to Margao office. They affirmed that "the tendering process will take place soon".
With PWD highways taking a lot of time for erecting the missing portioned of the railing and repairing the damaged railing, locals feel that the authorities will wake up only after a major tragedy takes place.
If erecting permanent railings is taking time they can at least adopt temporary measures, some locals suggested.