The work on sewerage network in Calangute has been temporarily suspended due to non-payment of bills by PWD to the contractor (Simplex Infrastructure Pvt Ltd). However, it is learnt that 90 per cent of the work has been completed in the coastal belt of Calangute.
According to locals, it has been almost 5 years that the work is going on, but this is the first that the work has been suspended.
Managing director of Goa State Sewerage Development Corporation Naik Parrikar, when contacted in this regard, admitted that Rs 6 to 7 crore has to be paid to the contractor, however, maintained that it is a continuous process of payment of Rs 157 crore. The official said that the contract firm should not have stopped the
Speaking further, the managing director said that JICA had given loan to the state government to carry out work of sewerage network as per a 10-year agreement. However, it expired in November 2017 and was extended for another year. The agreement was signed between JICA and the state government for Rs 1031 crore but later the estimate was revised at Rs 1300 crore.
When asked why the work has been delayed by almost 2 years, Naik Parrikar said that the work could not be carried out smoothly in Calangute. “The work had to be stopped many times as the roads are narrow and due to traffic flow,” he added.
On pumping station issue at Gaurawaddo, the official said that the land has been acquired at a cost of Rs 8 crore and that the money has been deposited with the deputy collector. “We plan to complete the work by December if everything goes well,” the official said.
The sewerage network in Calangute is the need of the hour taking into consideration the tourist influx and number of hotels and guest houses operating in the area.
The villagers have been demanding that the work be completed at the earliest. At gram sabhas, the villagers have been raising the issue of sewage release into drains and nullahs and also about overflowing septic tanks and, hence, they want the work to be completed without further delay.
Also that the work has caused much trouble to the residents due to digging of roads and subsequent dust pollution and traffic jams.
Project manager of Simplex Infrastructure Pvt Ltd Atunas Das, when contacted, told this daily that the work has been stopped temporarily due to monsoon and over some payment issue, which the chief minister has agreed to do.
He said that the work of sewerage network is almost complete and that after monsoon pumping station work will be taken up which will take at least 6 months to be ready. Regarding manholes and side chambers, he said of 1500 manholes only few are remaining due to narrow road issues.
“We have missed many deadlines; the project should have been completed in December 2016. Calangute, being a tourist destination, construction of manholes becomes difficult,” he said.