VASCO: The Union minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said work on the eight-lane cable stayed bridge over Zuari is progressing as per schedule and the project would be ready for inauguration before January 26, 2019.
He was speaking to reporters after reviewing work at the new Zuari Bridge along with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and other government officials on Sunday afternoon. “We are confident that the project would be readied by December 2018 and it would be operational by January 2019. Presently, the work schedule has been maintained and probably during the monsoons, the work rate might slow down, but once the structures are ready, things might move faster and we are confident of finishing the project on time," Gadkari said.
He further added that “Whatever issues related to land acquisition were pending, the same was more or less resolved after intervention of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. It was also informed by Parrikar that he would review the ongoing works of Zuari Bridge every 15 days. The bridge which would be cable-stayed will be an iconic structure having two towers on it which will be a major tourist attraction. This bridge will be an attraction for both global and domestic tourists,” he said.
Gadkari also said the State and Union governments are examining the possibility of connecting Dabolim airport with the waterways to ferry tourists to their hotels once they land in the coastal state. “We want to examine the possibility of linking the airports with waterways. Once tourist arrives in Goa he can be taken through a cable-car to the waterways from there he can travel to his hotel,” Gadkari said. He said the State government is also examining the feasibility to connect the new Mopa airport through waterways, like the way Venice Airport is connected with waterways.
He while commenting on the four/six lane road connectivity from Mumbai to Goa and from Goa to Mangalore said that “From Panvel in Maharastra to Goa border, we have divided the works of Four /six lane concrete road into 11 packages. Excerpt for Kashedi Ghat tunnel on the Mumbai-Goa highway, we have allotted all other works. In Goa we have three packages, including the Zuari Bridge and two other road projects for which works have already started. Besides that, we have decided to allot the road work leading to Mangalore from Panjim to the contractor soon and very soon we will have all these highway roads cemented, and the present distance between Mumbai to Goa which is 10 to 12 hours will be reduced to 5 to 6 hours which in turn will help in tourism growth in Goa,” he said.