19 Sep 2023  |   06:42am IST

Commuters towards Margao feel harassed at being nudged off the new Zuari bridge even after eight months

Regular travellers say the bridge was built only to fine people
Commuters towards Margao feel harassed at being nudged off the new Zuari bridge even after eight months

PRATIK PARAB

AGASAIM: Even as eight months have passed since the inauguration of one lane of the new Zuari bridge, the government continues to wave off commuters on light motor vehicles (LMVs) off the new Zuari bridge, this is when the bridge is smooth, has enough space for vehicles on both sides and is comfortably taking the load of very heavy motor vehicles (HMVs).

Yet, what commuters find increasingly irritating is that traffic cops suddenly stop cars about to get onto the bridge, direct them to take the lower old road and immediately pull them across to supposedly fine them. But on such occasions, the term “GPay”: is at times heard as a convenient mode to “settle”

 These moves seem devoid not only of logic but any plan or pattern.

 However, there is no logical explanation from the authorities to explain the arrangement of not allowing light motor vehicles heading towards Margao on the bridge. 

Why should one-way arrangements made 8 months ago during the inauguration still be in place? 

The new 13.7 km long Zuari bridge that begins from Agasaim and lands at Verna, is one of the most ambitious projects Goa has witnessed recently. However, one lane of the bridge had to be forcefully opened last year due to continuous traffic jams on the route. 

The traffic jams have gone. However, the arrangements made soon after the inauguration still remain in place. The Traffic police have said that the notification says that only the HMVs would continue to be allowed on the bridge and they have given a considerable amount of time to the people to understand that. The police say this is to avoid accidents.

Once again on Monday, the police began a drive to stop vehicles coming to the bridge and were made to turn around. Sahil Naik, a regular commuter said, "It has been eight months since one of the lanes has been opened, but still vehicles are being stopped from taking the bridge, reasons best known to the authorities," he said.

Eddy Soares asked, “If the bridge has the capacity to take heavy traffic what problem will the LMVs cause? It seems that the bridge was built for fining people and not for convenience,” he said. 

Every single commuter has been questioning the visibility of the sign boards that are supposed to prevent vehicles from taking the bridge. 

Jeremy Miranda said, “Traffic seems to be moving very freely and in an orderly manner with the HMVs and LMVs plying together. Don't understand the need to stop LMVs from taking the bridge." 

The bifurcation of lanes and the speed limit has been working perfectly for vehicular traffic, ever since the bridge was opened. However, the sudden action of police has been causing aberrations for the commuters as they have to take the service road that is being used by local villagers.

Officials of Dilip Buildcon had informed a section of press that since the installation of each cable and each segment of the second phase of the Zuari bridge is a work of precision they may lift the last segment by July. 

Three months later, this hasn’t happened. As Goa looks at a jam packed tourism season of 2023 beginning from September, the confusion may continue to cause troubles for the local unsuspecting working population whose only expectation is a hurdle free travel. 


IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar