Minister of Fisheries Avertano Furtado on Thursday said that the much-awaited widening of the stretch of national highway from Navelim church junction to Jakniband expected to cost Rs 20-crore will take off on December 1 and that the road is expected to be completed by May 2016.
Addressing a press conference in Margao on Thursday afternoon, Furtado said that the work will commence on December 1 with tree-cutting to make way for the widening of the road by three metres on each side. He said that the tree cutting is expected to be completed within 15 days.
Furtado however said that while the tree cutting is being carried out, power lines will be lowered as such there will be no current from 9 am to 6 p.m however he said that on December 3 the work will be suspended to facilitate easy movement of the devotees for the feast of St Francis Xavier.
The minister said that the road has attained the dubious name of killer road as several accidents have been reported over the years and there has been a long-pending demand from the villagers to widen it. Also he said that with heavy traffic entering Navelim, the widened road will provide much-needed relief.
Speaking further, he said the government has already started with the land acquisition process while practically all owners have willingly given NoC for the road except for two who have demanded money be paid first.
Furtado informed that the land acquisition will cost Rs 17-crore while the drains and footpaths and illumination will cost Rs 3.5-crore and the land owners will be paid at market rate. He said that elaborate arrangements have been made to divert the traffic adding police will be deployed at all key junctions. He appealed to people to cooperate for 15 days while the tree cutting is being carried out as the road will serve them in the long run.