Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

CM springs a surprise, inspects work on Mandovi, Zuari bridges

17th December 2018, 03:35 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

For the first time in months, ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, sprung a surprise venturing out of his home where he is recuperating and embarked on an excursion to sites of the two under construction bridges -- the third Mandovi bridge and the Zuari bridge -- on Sunday afternoon.   

Parrikar, accompanied by his son Utpal and grandson, besides his aide Rupesh Kamat, drove out of his private residence in an Innova vehicle around 4 pm.   

He alighted from the car at two distinct points on the deck of the under-construction Mandovi bridge, his pet project, where he was briefed on the progress of the construction work by officials of the contractor L&T. A couple of officials of the State government’s executing agency, Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation, were also present.   

The chief minister then proceeded to the sites of work in progress of the other big-ticket project, the Zuari bridge. Sources said, the decision to go to the Agassaim-Cortalim locales was taken at the spur of the moment by Parrikar himself after finishing with the visit to the Mandovi bridge.   

This is Parrikar’s first public appearance since he was brought back from AIIMS Delhi in mid-October and significantly comes at a time when criticism over his absence in office and public view has reached a crescendo.   

The Opposition Congress has hit the roads with its ‘Jan Akrosh’ campaign with a ‘Where is our Chief Minister’ messaging in its mass contact public agitation programme.   

Also, the Bombay High Court is due to give its verdict on the admissibility of a Public Interest Litigation writ petition seeking public disclosure of his health status. The High Court reserved its order after hearing the petitioner Trajano D’Mello who has sought that CM’s health status be filed by the Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma after evaluation by a panel of doctors.   

Meanwhile, photographs of the chief minister’s public appearance at the Mandovi and Zuari bridge sites show a frail Parrikar in the company of his son Utpal and three or four others. Some of these photographs were released by the Chief Minister’s Office.   

In one such picture, Parrikar is seen in the frame wearing a safety helmet and with medical appendage, apparently a feeding pipe, suspended from his nose. In another picture, the chief minister is seen without a safety helmet. In both the pictures he appears to be in conversation with those around him. A statement was also released by the CMO which said: “Parrikar visited the construction site on the third Mandovi bridge and inspected the 

progress of work. Officials of GSIDC (Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation) and L&T engineers were present on the site to brief the CM. He later also inspected the ongoing work of the new Zuari bridge.”   

The development of Parrikar venturing out and appearing in public is expected to have an impact on the ongoing narrative about his government, which has faced concerted attack for non-performance from the Opposition Congress, a wide section of civil society and even partners of his coalition.   

He has been fighting advanced pancreatic cancer which was first diagnosed in February this year and was treated in the main at the globally acclaimed Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.   

Parrikar was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Metastasis first in February at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai. He has also received minor treatments at the Goa Medical College and a private clinic of a relative in Candolim.   

In September, he was air-lifted by a special aircraft arranged by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi where he spent over a month. He returned to Goa on October 14 and was since then confined to his private residence in Dona Paula. 

progress of work. Officials of GSIDC (Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation) and L&T engineers were present on the site to brief the CM. He later also inspected the ongoing work of the new Zuari bridge.”   

The development of Parrikar venturing out and appearing in public is expected to have an impact on the ongoing narrative about his government, which has faced concerted attack for non-performance from the Opposition Congress, a wide section of civil society and even partners of his coalition.   

He has been fighting advanced pancreatic cancer which was first diagnosed in February this year and was treated in the main at the globally acclaimed Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.   

Parrikar was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Metastasis first in February at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai. He has also received minor treatments at the Goa Medical College and a private clinic of a relative in Candolim.   

In September, he was air-lifted by a special aircraft arranged by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi where he spent over a month. He returned to Goa on October 14 and was since then confined to his private residence in Dona Paula.  

PARRIKAR’S 

DAY OUT  

Drives out of private residence in Innova vehicle around 4 pm accompanied by son Utpal, grandson & aide Rupesh Kamat  

Alights at two distinct points on deck of under-construction Mandovi bridge  

Briefed on progress of the construction work by officials of L&T contractor   

Couple of GIDC officials also present   

Proceeds to sites of work in progress of Zuari bridge