PANJIM/MARGAO: The North and South Goa District Magistrates have imposed a ban on digging and cutting off all types of roads including National Highways, State Highways, Major District Roads, road shoulders, lanes thoroughfares, etc, during monsoon as these activities pose an imminent danger and disruption to the life of motorists, pedestrians and general public.
The ban on digging and cutting of roads in North Goa is for a period of 60 days, from June 1 while in South Goa it is from May 15 to October 15.
But the ban surprisingly excluded agencies that have been digging relentlessly in the first place.
The order states that provided that this prohibition will not be applicable to any road digging done by any government public utility service providing departments such as Electricity, BSNL and PWD for urgent repairs of electric cables, telecommunication cables and pipelines also digging by local bodies for repairs of road and for diversion of water in emergency cases will not attract restrictions contained in this order.
But such emergency digging will be covered immediately within less than six hours of digging and properly paved/cemented within 24 hours, the order states.
Any person, agency or department, etc, contravening this order will be liable for punishment under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
During this monsoon the citizens of Panjim apprehend deterioration of roads not only due to alleged substandard works under Smart City Mission but also given the heavy rains lashing the city. In the past, there were also complaints against the authorities allowing some government departments to dig roads mostly to lay cables often unabated, making the ban redundant.
Meanwhile, the South Collector’s office upon the circular of the Public Works Department has asked for stopping the road-cutting activities for water, sewerage as well as electrical connections in public interest from May 15 to October 15.