Herald: Here we go again

Here we go again

10 Jul 2018 04:59am IST
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10 Jul 2018 04:59am IST

The North Goa District Administration has decided to go back to the IPSCDL for a final recommendation on the safety of the Dona Paula jetty for the public despite having received one earlier

Vrishank Mahatme

After recommending blocking access to the Dona Paula jetty in view of the deteriorating state in January 2018, the North Goa District Administration has now again written to the Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd (IPSCDL) who is entrusted with the work requesting them to give a clear recommendation after consultation with their technical experts or consultant regarding the issue of the safety of the jetty for pedestrian or traffic use.

Involvement of multiple government agencies and lack of clarity over the action plan after the jetty’s closure is what caused the matter to be referred to the state and in-turn delayed, sources in the government said.

Sources have told Herald that IPSCDL received the file from the North Goa collector on June 27 where the collector has asked, after taking the recommendation of various agencies to take inputs of GSIDC and PWD, which it says that it should obtained clearly indicating and asking for a clear recommendation as far the safety for jetty for pedestrian and traffic use is concerned.

“As far as the IPSCDL is concerned, it is of very important to us as it deals with the safety and lives of the tourists as well of the people who deal in businesses at the jetty because safety is of prime importance. We are willing to take the project at the earliest and of course now with the monsoons the project cannot be start. Immediately after the rains we are ready to pick up work as we have a full action plan.” said IPSCDL CEO and MD Swayandipta Pal Chaudhuri confirming the development

IPSCDL has also clearly stated that it shall reiterate its decision to the government that the jetty needs to be closed while also submitting the detailed report as demanded by the North Goa District Administration.

It can be recalled that the decision to block access to jetty was taken at a crucial meeting of the North Collector held with Captain of Ports Department, sub divisional magistrate and others in January 2018. “I have decided to block the access path to the jetty. The order to CoP, traffic police and other agencies concerned will be issued tomorrow (Thursday),” North Collector NilaMohanan had told Herald.

The old Dona Paula jetty, which still exists next to the new one and acts as a breakwater, protecting the new jetty from the powerful waves, may be said to be in a better condition. GSIDC in April 2015 has more or less confirmed the condition of the jetty by ordering a Non-Destructive Test (NDT) on the jetty.

The NDT was cleverly phrased as a “structural audit of the Dona Paula jetty to ascertain its carrying capacity” by GSIDC so as not to alarm the citizens. 

GSIDC’s former Managing Director Sanjit Rodrigues had told Herald at that time that GSIDC wanted to ascertain the “strength” of the jetty, i.e, the structure’s capacity to carry benches, hawkers, shops, restaurants, etc. The audit, he claimed, would help to contribute to Panjim’s master plan. But an NDT was very much part of the scope of the study.

Not surprisingly, the test report was kept top secret. According to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) ‘Manual on Repair and Rehabilitation of RCC Buildings’, exposed steel rapidly corrodes and expands to 10 times its size, cracking the concrete around it and allowing permeability of atmospheric gases. This facilitates further and more rapid corrosion, especially in a chloride-rich marine environment.

Accelerated corrosion causes even greater cracking and then ‘spalling’ of concrete, exposing large sections of the steel reinforcement to the atmosphere. The process results in thinning of the steel reinforcement, ultimately leading to the possible collapse of the structure.
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