PANJIM: The hyper-commercialisation and haphazard planning in executing development works for the revival of basic infrastructure in the capital city has resulted in a complete mess. Works pending for seven years are sought to be completed in seven days
Clearly, Panjim looks like a warzone without bombs. But it has huge craters and traps and if one if not careful, danger lurks at every corner. Clearly, many say, it’s a sinking feeling.
Already the roads in the jurisdiction of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) are in a jeopardised state.
To add to the agony, several roads in the city have been dug up for various works amidst the ongoing International Film Festival of India.
It’s been seven years since the works of the Smart City and Amrut Mission works are being carried out. As the date for completion of the Smart City works comes closer, major works of digging crucial arterial roads in the city are causing tremendous hardships to both motorists and citizens as well, as the people coming to the city for various works.
The question that is on people’s minds is this - would Prime Minister Modi, due to visit Goa soon have approved this. Won’t he take note of this coordinated messing up of the city's roads, all at once when an international film festival is on in the city?
The road opposite Delmon Hotel, near Fidalgo, the narrow lanes of old Panjim areas like Sao Tome, and Fontainhas have been dug for the replacement of sewer lines and reconstruction of drains and other basic infrastructure. The work has been taken up at such a time of the year when Panjim is overburdened by tourists and visitors for IFFI and other big events.
Akash Madgaonkar, a businessman from Panjim said, “The government needs to rectify the digging works that have been taken up in Panjim within six months. Some of the projects like the ropeway need to be moved to other location in Goa. New licences to casinos and boat cruises should be stopped. Public transport in Panjim is lacking.”
Armando Gonsalves, Founder of Goa ForGiving said, “The traffic congestion will be five times as it is happening today as there is a lack of thinking and planning. It has created a major problem for city dwellers. The development works are necessary but it needs to be taken up with people’s participation and taking the dwellers into confidence.”
Tony Dias, a retired Central government official said, “They should not have undertaken Smart City works during festive season. It could have been planned after Carnival. Locals and tourists are affected. More traffic is deployed during night hours at Sao Tome and St Sebastian areas to streamline traffic movement.”
Former bureaucrat turned politician Elvis Gomes said, “Once a well-planned city, Panjim is now in tatters. There is digging all over the place and there is no coordination between agencies carrying out the work. The right-hand does not know what the left hand is doing and vice versa. This is a man-made traffic jam disaster because the plan is to complete works pending for seven years within seven days.”
Atish Fernandes, a member of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) said, “The timing of taking up these works may be odd but these are works which are most crucial and critical for the city. Drainage and sewage works of old Panjim city areas are necessary as the existing infrastructure is old and dated now.”