PANAJI: Refuting that per se there is no rise in the original cost of construction of the third bridge being built on the River Mandovi, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said that there is no substantial rise in this cost, and whatever additional cost is there is by way of the interest, which the government will have to pay on the loan it has borrowed for completing the project.
“Furthermore, the government proposes to construct a ramp at the end of the bridge, so that the vehicles travelling on this bridge and desiring to move to Panaji, can do so,” the Chief Minister said, pointing out that the additional cost could be due to this ramp, which is not a part of the bridge.
He also added that there are some other ancillary things, which could result in hike in the cost of the 3-km bridge, and all these additions could cost the government up to Rs 50 crore.
The revised cost of construction of the particular bridge being built by Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is Rs 860 crore, up from the earlier Rs 470 crore. However, a section of press had quoted that this price has now shot up to Rs 1,200 crore.
The Chief Minister maintained that the government has already paid pending bills of public works department, department of water resources and Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation to the tune of Rs 140 crore in March 2017, and Rs 210 crore in April and May 2017. He also said that the government is reviewing all major projects in the state, including road expansion projects, every 15 days.
Speaking informally to the pressmen, Parrikar further said that he has already directed the authorities to carry out constant monitoring of the Zuari bridge. “I have told them to keep a vigil on this bridge as regards even small vibrations,” Parrikar said, adding that other bridges including Borim bridge are also being carefully monitored for their safety. “The audit report of all old bridges in the state will provide clarity on stability of all such bridges,” he said.
It may be recalled that in view of public safety after an unused bridge in Sanvordem recently fell off with people standing on it, the government had ordered that all old unused bridges are required to be barricaded.
Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that he has already discussed with the chairman of the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) the proposed safety measures as regards recent sinking of a dry dock sparking fears of an oil spill. “The MPT has already barricaded the area with floating booms, to contain a maximum of 100 litres to 150 litres of diesel spilled in the area,” he added, stating that the Coast Guard, which forms disaster management authority for such incidents, has also been told to monitor the situation.
Parrikar also assured that the government will not cut coconut trees in Porvorim area while expanding the two-lane road to four lane and these trees will form the median of the expanded road. “However, if one or two coconut trees come in the way of the project then it could be felled,” he said.
The Chief Minister further stated that all the students passing the SSC 2017 examination will be accommodated in the higher secondary schools and no one would be left out.