the goan I network
Public Works Department officials, beware. It is the right of the consumers to get potholed-free road and can very well take the PWD or the government to task for deficiency in service.
In fact, the Sub-Committee on Road Safety of South Goa District Consumer Protection Council has on Tuesday resolved to assist and guide the consumers how to go about lodging their complaints before the Consumer Conciliation Committee and also help them knock the doors of the Consumer courts to redress their grievances.
The sub-committee has further resolved to document the potholes on some of the roads, whether the potholes are filled up properly since the Amended Consumer Protection Act has made stringent provisions for deficiency in service. “It’s the right of the consumers to get potholed-free roads. When we talk about road safety, the word road comes first. And, when there’s no road at all, there cannot be safety,” remarked Roland Martins, while briefing the media on the outcome of the meeting on Sub-Committee on Road Safety of South Goa District Protection Council here on Tuesday.
Saying that courts in neighbouring Maharashtra has passed orders on deficiency in services vis-à-vis roads, Martins said the sub-committee will assist the people intending to take the PWD to the Consumer courts for relief.
Saying that potholes have affected everyone, right from the motorists, riders to the pedestrians, Martins said the sub-committee will document the potholes in particular roads. “We are going for a detailed exercise since the Consumer Protection Act has been amended, by including stringent measures on the question of deficiency in service.
At the same time, Roland said the sub-committee has underscored the need to analyse the reasons behind the accidents in South Goa so that recommendations can be made to the government for redressal. “After an accident, the police comes out with some finding, which needs to be analysed how to avoid these accidents in the future so that it leaves a lesson or two for the PWD, riders and the bus drivers,” he added.
Blaming the PWD for total negligence on the question of road safety, he said the sub-committee will use the Consumer Protection Act to file cases for deficiency in service as the Motor Vehicle Act does not have any provision to take the PWD to task for bad roads.
To a question, he said the sub-committee will compile a report on the points raised by the members and place the same before the district Consumer Protection Council.
On the implementation of the new fines notified by the government under the MV Act, Martins said the sub-committee will take up awareness amongst the motorists on the revised fees during the road safety week, beginning from September 17. While appreciating the decision of
the Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho to enforce the new fines after January 1, Martins reminded that there cannot be road safety if the road itself is bad.
Citizens stop repair of damaged Rawanfond road with cold tar
MARGAO: Simmering discontentment amongst the people over the potholed roads burst out in the open on Tuesday when a group of youngsters stopped the PWD from repairing the damaged Rawanfond road with cold tar demanding hot-mixing of the damaged road.
The youth led by Vinayak Volvoikar stopped the work on two counts, one that the work was being carried out in the evening, resulting in a huge traffic jam and to protest against what they called as the sub-standard work.
After the PWD lifted away the black metal from the road, Volvoikar said the PWD had repaired the road around a fortnight ago with cold tar, only to be washed away again. “What is the use of the tar when it cannot give relief to the people even for 15 days,” Volvoikar demanded to know, saying the exercise will only end in futility like before.
He demanded that both Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat, representing Margao and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro should have pressed the government to take up the road repairs work on a war footing, but in vain. “The cold tar has failed to serve any purpose. If the cold tar could not serve any purpose in the last 15 days, it will certainly not provide any relief in the future as well,” he said.
The youth were also incensed over the fact that the contractor took up the work during the peak hours, resulting in a traffic jam. They also demanded to know why not a single PWD official was present at the site to supervise the quality of work.
Dicarpale locals protest over
bad condition of road
MARGAO: Incensed over the fact that the potholed road that is being used almost every day by a Deputy Chief Minister, as many as two Ministers and an MLA, residents of Dicarpale, on the outskirts of Margao, took to the streets on Tuesday to protest over the bad condition of the road.
The protesters had vowed not to lift their blockade till the two deputy Chief Ministers Deepak Pauskar and Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar, Power Minister Nilesh Cabral and local MLA and Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues hand out an assurance over the restoration of the road. Cuncolim MLA Clafacio Dias, who was passing by the road around the same time, later promised to get the road done within 10 days, which finally prompted the protesters to withdraw their stir.
A local resident Poonam Prabhugaonkar said the people have come on the road to highlight their plight as well as the indifference of the powers that be, including the deputy Chief Ministers and Ministers using the road daily. She pointed out that they decided to come down on the road after local MLA and WRD Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues nor the PWD engineers responded to their calls on the road repairs.
“The road near the Lakakhi laundry and along the military camp is unmotorable. And, the authorities have done nothing to repair the road which has been washed away in the rains,” Poonam said.
Truck owner Franky Gomes and some truck owners, who supported the stir, said people are even ready to pay the hefty traffic fines, but the roads should be traffic worthy. “The authorities have increased the fines for traffic violations, but let the government first provide good and potholed-free roads,” he said.
The Cuncolim MLA, who was stopped by the protesters, said road repairs have failed to provide solace and mitigate the hardships of the motorists and pedestrians because of the continuous downpour. While sympathising with the sentiments expressed by the protesters, Clafacio assured them to get the road repaired in the next 10 days.