Will new dispensation steam ahead with railway flyovers?
Story: the goan I network | 17th February 2017, 05:11 Hrs
Come elections, whether Assembly or Lok Sabha, it’s not uncommon to find politicos of all hues making promises galore to Goans to do away with traffic bottlenecks at railway level crossings across Salcete.
Assembly election 2017 was no different as candidates did try to woo the electorate with promises to build flyovers and address the perennial traffic problems at the railway crossings. But, with the dust kicked up by the just concluded election now settling down, one question that is asked in Salcete is - will the new government offer any hope for the beleaguered residents of Margao, besides villagers of Majorda, Utorda, Seraulim, Davorlim, Chandor and Sao Jose de Areal in Salcete who are hit by the acute traffic congestion arising out of the frequent closures of railway crossings?
For five long years now, the state government had been literally sleeping over the Konkan Railway Corporation’s (KRC) proposal to build flyovers at a whopping cost of Rs 120 crore to ease traffic congestion at railway crossings. As per the proposal, KRC had offered to build five flyovers at the level crossings, but on a condition that the state government chips in 50 per cent of the estimated cost of the ambitious project. In terms of financial implications, what it actually meant for the state government was that it had to only arrange Rs 60 crores, with the balance amount to be borne by the KRC on 50:50 per cent sharing basis.
None of the flyovers have seen light of the day till date, for the simple reason that the state government could not commit the required funds for the ambitious project, despite the fact that life comes to a standstill around the Comba area of Margao city and the villages when the railing crossing is closed for vehicular traffic. Take note, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had laid the foundation stone for the Davorlim flyover in Navelim constituency in 2016, apparently with an eye on the 2017 Assembly election. Work on the flyover, however, is yet to commence till date for want of land acquisition by the state government to construct the approach road for the flyover.
Says KRC Sr Manager, Public Relations: Baban Ghatge: “The KRC had made the offer to the state government five years ago to build the flyovers at the railway crossings at Margao, Davorlim, Seraulim, Majorda and Utorda to ease traffic congestion. None of the flyovers have seen light of the day because the state government did not respond to the proposal with the required financial commitment. The railways work on the concept of 50 per cent cost-sharing basis. Work on the flyovers can commence only after the state government commits its share of the estimated cost of the project. Even in the case of the Davorlim flyover, though the state government has not deposited any money, the KRC was ready to kick start the work with its own funds on the condition that the government would chip in the funds at a later stage”.