Debris of 1st Mandovi bridge affecting riverbed, water flow
05 Aug 2016 12:16am IST
Construction of the third bridge will further affect water flow; river most impacted as has undergone maximum human interventions
PANJIM: Debris of the collapsed first Mandovi bridge that have remained in the river for 30 years are having a serious impact on the riverbed and the water flow. Asserting this, a Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) expert report also states that construction of the third bridge over the river will further affect the water flow.
Following directions from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), GCZMA expert member Antonio Mascarenhas inspected the ongoing construction activity of the third bridge to study its impact on the coastal environment.
“The existence of the remnants of the collapsed bridge in the river and its impact on the river bed or flow has rarely been considered, but has in fact been overlooked. The debris of the collapsed bridge remain in the river and can still be seen at low tide, even after three decades,” the report stated recommending that the government immediately clear the material.
The first bridge over the river Mandovi, constructed in the 1970s collapsed on July 5, 1986 and some of the debris still remain in the river.
“Any obstacle within a river affects the flow regime, in our case, the piers of the bridges I and II, and now the larger foundations of the new bridge. In addition, a riverbed obstruction has been caused by debris of collapsed bridge I and coffer dam made for construction of bridge II. These aspects need to be taken into consideration,” Mascarenhas said in the report.
GCZMA has noted that the rectangular shape of the pile caps is rather surprising, and such a move is bound to affect the long term river flow and tidal dynamics.
The expert member observed that the river has undergone maximum anthropogenic (human) interventions and can thus be considered as the most impacted as compared to all the other river systems of Goa. “The river bank, the Panjim side in particular, has under gone systematic and continuous modifications almost on a yearly basis since the last four decades at least,” he observed.
Mascarenhas is of the view that there needs to be a probe whether or not human actions along the river banks have affected the river system.
The Authority’s term ended on July 21.
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