PONDA: The PWD Minister, Mr Ramkrishna Dhavalikar, on Friday, said that the work on expansion of the NH17 and NH 4A including the construction of bridge over Zuari along with three other bridges, will commence within one year.
The minister, speaking to reporters, said the state government has already received NOC from the Union Ministry for the construction of bridges along with the expansion of the NH17 and NH 4A.
He said that the state is in the process of preparing a detailed project report which will be sent to the NHAI, which will bear the 40 per cent cost of the project while the state will fund 60 per cent of the project cost.
Mr Dhavalikar informed that the government has already received NOC for the construction of Zuari bridge along with bridges at Khadepar, Talpona and Galgibag.
He said that at present, work on construction of 2-km bypass at Khandepar has already begun, which will also include construction of a parallel bridge on Khandepar river.
Replying to a query on road width, Mr Dhavalikar said that as per the NH requirement, the width should be 40 metres, however, it is not possible in Goa to have a width of 40 metres as it will lead to demolition of many houses that have been built along the highways.
He said that it will not be possible to demolish all the houses and added that the government has taken a decision to expand the highways by 20 to 25 metres.
On the toll issue, Mr Dhavalikar said that no decision has yet been taken on the collection of toll following the expansion of highways, however, a decision will be taken at the time of preparing the detailed project report.
He said that if the government is spending so much on the development and expansion of highways, it would be fair enough for the government to recover a part of the funds utilised for developing the highways.
The minister informed that the government is also in the process of preparing a detailed project report on the widening of the Old Goa-Panaji road with a dedicated lane for two wheelers.
He said that the government will float tenders within the next fortnight, adding the work on NH4A widening has also started in small stretches.
He said that currently work of widening has begun near Ciba for a stretch of 500 metres, adding the work will be completed by this year end.
Stating that the government has worked out a rehabilitation programme to shift nine shopkeepers at Kundaim for the road expansion, he said that the government had constructed some shops and houses some five years back, which will now be utilised to rehabilitate those getting affected due to the road widening at Kundaim.
Further, he also said that the government has prepared a programme to rehabilitate shopkeepers from Bhoma.
The government, he said will acquire land for the construction of shops to shift the affected shopkeepers and also for building new houses for the affected people.