Re-routing to hit South Goa; Tourism also to be affected badly, says TCP minister
VASCO/PANJIM: Diversion of the Verna-Cortalim Road has now become inevitable after the farmers from Cortalim opposed and the local MLAs gave a lukewarm response to the acquisition of adjoining fields for parallel road plan. The PWD department will now sit with the drawings of the previous diversion plan and is going to attempt to reduce the distance by making alternate infrastructure arrangements.
PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar said "We are planning to divert traffic and meanwhile also trying to reduce the diversion from the existing 22 km to 14 kms by creating one way routes and alternate routes on the existing diverted route."
Sudin Dhavalikar, Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha, TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai, Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho and other officials of PWD inspected the road stretch of Verna-Cortalim on Sunday.
Sudin Dhavalikar has said that the Government will not go ahead with construction of parallel road without the consent of the farmers. Sensing the opposition of the farmers the minister has now revealed that the engineers of the PWD will be sitting with the diversion plan instead of the parallel road proposal. The PWD is going to sit with the Navy and other relevant authorities to finalise the diversion route.
"Our land is already divided into many pieces due to road work and also the Konkan Railway line and we do not want further division of the fields here," said Antonne Vaz, a farmer from Cortalim. "How do we promote and develop agriculture if land is going to be lost in this manner?" asked Antonne.
HARDSHIPS: Stating that diversion would cause immense hardships to the people, TCP Minister Vijay Sardesai said that there should be no diversion at Cortalim until infrastructural enhancements are completed.
Sardesai said that PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar, Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho and Alina Saldanha took us to the places where there could be bottlenecks after diversion.
“My point is we have to avoid diversion but they are talking as if diversion is a fait-accompli,” Sardesai told Herald.
Sardesai said that diversion will mean a lot of hardships to the people of South Goa.
“Government employees, private employees, students and the medical services will be affected. The exams will also be slated in some time now,” he said.
Moreover, Sardesai said diversion will also hit tourism badly.
“I am not satisfied with the plan, govt has to decide on diversion only after infrastructural enhancements are completed. That too on trial basis if people face hardship it has to be reverted back,” he said.
He further took a dig at PWD Minister saying “Govt has to think about the people and not the contractor only.”
Meanwhile minister Mauvin Godinho MLA Alina Saldanha were of the opinion that the work of the bridge has to be executed with minimum trouble to the local people. Alina Saldanha said "the work of the Zuari Bridge has to be completed but with minimum trouble to the people. “Beginning from the meeting point Junction to the MES Junction points have been taken down to ensure that the diversion causes this trouble two locals as well as traffic," she said.
Minister Mauvin said: "While the traffic is diverted the department has to make sure that the locals are not inconvenienced. This is going to increase infrastructure in our constituency and will remain there to serve the people even after Zuari Bridge is open," said Mauvin.