Pre-condition in the contract is that government will provide land for diversion wherever required, says DBL; With stakeholders, commuters attacking plan, PWD scurrying to find land for diversion
AGASSAIM/ CORTALIM: The disbelief that met the government’s plans for diversion of traffic along the Cortalim to Verna stretch was simply because the route is, unarguably, the busiest in the State.
But then, the government has no option. Herald investigations reveal that the decision to divert traffic was not recent but the government had committed to the diversion in 2016.
Ask Dilip Buildcon Ltd (DBL) and the answer is straight, “the onus is on the government”. “There is a pre-condition in the contract that diversion land has to be provided by the government,” DBL vice-president Atul Joshi said, speaking exclusively to Herald.
Joshi said that from the beginning DBL has been demanding that diversion land be given but the government has not done this. “They told us to carry on and when the time comes they would make arrangements. We managed with flowing traffic up to the works of laying piers but now since the super-structure is being laid, we cannot manage,” he said.
Stating that the work would have progressed faster if land was provided earlier, Joshi said, “We are purely looking at the safety of commuters.”
Explaining further, he said, the super structure will be of basically three parts – pier cap, spine and the wings. Refuting comparison with the Mandovi bridge construction, he said, “The width of the Mandovi bridge is just 19 meters, whereas ours is 28 meters, there is a huge difference. Plus the right of way is just 30 meters whereas for Mandovi there was lot of road width.”
Further, he said the super structure, which is of three parts, has to be connected with each other and that is when the road will become unsafe as the right of way is just 30 meters.
Asked how the delay in diversion will hamper the progress of work, he said, there will be a delay of two months. “We are hoping that we could get it before two months. I am told the file has been moved to KRCL and it would be done soon as the arrangement is temporary,” he said, adding that in the meantime DBL can only work on what is possible. We are asking for diversion in the interest of the commuters only.”
With people and politicians attacking the diversion plan, the government is scurrying to find land for a service road. For now the government, or the PWD, has decided to divert traffic along railway line, the land belongs to KRCL. PWD has swung into action and has finalised road along rail lines, which is just 2-km more. TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai was critical of the move and wanted a proper solution rather than diversion.