Undertake Widening Of Roads At Narrow Stretches
PACHU MENON, MARGAO
With the entire state in the throes of development mania that has gripped it over the past few years, it comes as a big surprise to note that the widening of roads at stretches across Goa which are renowned traffic bottlenecks continue to be overlooked. With the state administration finding it convenient to attribute the ‘malaise’ to the burgeoning demand for vehicles, it is not difficult to realise that the government is as much in a quandary as the public over bringing about a logical solution to the entire mess. However, at a time when governments across the country are empowered to acquire land, erase structures and constructions which prove to be impediments for developmental works envisaged, it is shocking to have the state government acceding to the wishes of a few vested interests in allowing these ‘aberrations’ maintain ‘status quo’ irrespective of the problems they pose for the orderly movement of vehicular traffic. The Cuncolim thoroughfare for instance! Besides being a virtual nightmare for motorists negotiating the narrow roads, which are brazenly designated as a national highway, motoring through Cuncolim is undoubtedly a bitter experience! Moreover with the traffic literally crawling on these roads, the need to sort out the related issues becomes all the more pertinent for the government. The ‘Project Highway’ which involves the 4-laning of the NH 17 (66) passing through Goa is supposed to bring about a much-needed respite to the harried commuters. But with the works in full swing to make the dream a reality, the hesitation shown in taking appropriate steps to broaden roads in the heart of Cuncolim paves the way for thoughts of political interventions slowing down the project. Taking into consideration the opposition by residents to the road-widening of NH-17 from Panzorconi to Balli in present alignment way back in 2017 and the subsequent assurance by the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar in early 2018 that the locals would be taken into confidence before the proposed route of NH-17 is finalised; the alternative Cuncolim bypass alignment planned starting from Sirlim and running parallel to the Konkan Railway tracks before joining the NH-17 highway at Balli apparently hangs in limbo.