No Road Repairs

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Bad roads in state are cause of accidents and loss of lives

Though monsoon is just about a month away there are no signs of the government fulfilling its promise of repairing the state and national highways. Some of the works, especially widening of the national highways and other major roads have been going on for years and there are no signs of them being completed in the near future. Most of the roads, including internal city roads, have been dug for one reason or the other and the repair works have yet to start. In some places where repairs are taking place, they are going on at a snail’s pace. Motorists and even those travelling in public transport face risks and difficulties in navigating bad roads. With repair works not done, the condition of the already precarious roads would deteriorate further making them more accident prone than they were before. Though the state authorities have been saying that the work on repairs and surfacing would be undertaken as early as possible, it is now clear that it would not be possible to complete the works before the onset of monsoon.

The bad condition of the roads, confusing signs on the directions to be followed and absence of police to regulate traffic have been reasons behind many accidents that have claimed precious human lives. The latest case was that of a tempo driver who misread the confusing sign at Colvale on Tuesday and drove into a lane that was meant for flow of traffic from opposite direction and rammed his vehicle into an oncoming bus and lost his life in the accident. In another case a scooterist while trying to avoid a pothole on the road at Redeghat near Valpoi lost his life after he dashed against another scooterist coming from the opposite direction. The roads in the capital city of the state are no better and are ridden with potholes, which have been causes for a good number of accidents. The road from Altinho to Bhatulem is pothole-ridden and dangerous; with rubble lying all over it has become more dangerous. Accidents are quite common on this road.

The people were promised better roads after the monsoon season last year but the authorities have failed to deliver. An announcement was made by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in his budget speech this year that work on resurfacing of roads would start from April 1. Though three weeks have elapsed there are no signs of major roads being repaired. It is another matter that work on roads in Sanquelim has started. While it may not be possible to resurface all the roads as monsoon is just a few weeks away, the authorities should ensure that the roads which are in worst condition are made motorable so as to provide some relief to public, which travels on these roads on daily basis. Bad road condition is a sure recipe for accidents which could maim scores of people besides claim lives of many others. The least the authorities could do is to repair them to prevent accidents and fatalities thereof.

Works on major road widening and construction of bridges have been going on for years and are unlikely to be completed at least for another year or so. The absence of signages at the places where  works are going on makes driving not only confusing but also dangerous. At times the directions at the work sites are misleading, causing traffic hazards and jams. The difficulties of the commuting public are compounded by the absence of policemen to regulate traffic. At times the police deployed at such sites are silent spectators in case some unruly elements choose to disobey their directions. The police cannot abandon their posts and run after the disruptive elements especially during rush hours when violations are most to act against them as this could lead to chaos on the roads. There is still some time, the government can set its concerned departments in motion and repair and resurface the roads where they are in very bad condition. They should take it as a priority at the earliest to allow smooth traffic flow and to prevent accidents and loss of life.