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Project delays! Blame it on politicos & depts: Gadkari

Story: The | Goan | 13th June 2018, 02:06 Hrs

PANAJI: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari blamed local politicians and state government department for the delays in central government projects pointing to the fact that Margao’s western bypass is delayed by two years and the Khandepar bridge by one and a half year.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the ‘topping out’ ceremony of the third Mandovi bridge, which itself has missed several deadlines and is more than a year behind schedule, Gadkari said that there were various reasons for the delays.
“We are taking a review of every project and there are some problems and we need cooperation of the state government. There are some delays because of forest clearances, environment clearances, land acquisition. I am of the opinion that for all these projects we need the support of the people as well as the administration,” Gadkari said.
He said that such delays even discourage the contractors who then say: “if nothing is happening then I will go back.”
“I also request the ministers, that if you want development then if everybody pushes then it will happen. It’s not my allegation, but then the work should happen soon and the people of Goa should feel happy, that’s what I want,” Dhavalikar said.
He cited the instance of the Captain of Ports department, which he said was unnecessarily seeking environmental clearances to allow boats to dock at the jetties that were dilapidated and recently renewed.
“The last time I started the new ferry service. Now... who is that?... the Captain of Ports, they keep on bringing out new issues every time. Now that the old jetties that are there. They are saying that if they are to be renewed, the environment clearance will be required. Now he has said that to stop the ship and allow people to alight, then you have to get all the clearances,” Gadkari said.
Asked to comment on Gadkari’s statements State PWD Minister Ramkrishna “Sudin” Dhavalikar said that “some politicians” both from ruling and opposition were responsible for the delays.
“It is only because of some of the politicians who are involved in the alignment of the land, everywhere where they object especially the western bypass the people are objecting unnecessary without having much intensity (sic) in the work and without having much knowledge of the work,” Dhavalikar said.
“There is opposition from all the sides not only from ruling sides, and also media is also helping them to come with more margin (space) on the newspaper as well as in (electronic) media.
When asked to name people, Dhavalikar refused saying: “I don’t want to comment anything because I want to complete my projects. I don’t want to unnecessarily blame anybody.”
Besides the Margao’s western bypass and the Khandepar bridge which is held up allegedly due to ‘one house’ several other central government projects are facing opposition including the flyover in Porvorim which the residents have said is “just madness”.
The coastal roads to connect tourism sites too have been opposed by tourism stakeholders including local MLAs and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa who said it would kill Goa’s character.