Wed, 26 Jun, 2019

Western bypass doesn’t seem to be an agenda for any party

16th April 2019, 02:53 Hrs

the goan I network

MARGAO 

Is the controversial Western bypass – an issue which comes under the domain of the Centre – not on the agenda of any of the main players contesting the April 13 election for the South Goa seat?   

One has not come across any of the candidates going to the public with the promise they will get the Centre allocate additional funds towards the construction of the bypass on stilts if elected to Parliament.   

It is not out of place to mention here that Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha had descended on Mungul along with his supporters around two years ago to protest against the construction of the Western bypass by filling the flood plains of river Sal. 

Also, Aam Aadmi Party South Goa Convenor Rodney Almeida and many party volunteers have been waging a sustained battle for the construction of the bypass on stilts, a demand which did not find favour with the Union Minister for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari and former PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar.   

The demand for the construction of the Western bypass on stilts along the three-kilometer stretch between Seraulim, behind the wholesale fish market to the Benaulim petrol pump was not acceded to the outgoing PWD Minister on the ground that the additional work would result in cost overrun from Rs 202 crore to around Rs 700 crore.   

While work on the 11-km stretch of the bypass is underway along the Verna-Nuvem stretch in the north and Navelim-Telaulim stretch in the South, work on the project is on hold along the 

sensitive three-km stretch from Seraulim to Benaulim till date.   

In fact, sources said an attempt to start work on the bypass at Seraulim village two days ago was stalled by alert villagers, who have been demanding that the government build the bypass on stilts and save the villagers from inundation and floods.   

Villagers of Seraulim, Mungul and Benaulim had been opposing tooth and nail the bypass by filling of the flood plains of River Sal and the wetlands  along the route which have been acting as water catchment areas over the years.   

They have argued that the low-lying areas of Seraulim, Mungul and Benaulim are prone to floods and destruction and filling up the flood plains to make way for the bypass would only result in the displacement of water and inundation of their villages.