Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro, on Friday, demanded an investigation into the reduction of height of bridge on stilts at Navelim to 3.5 metre from the earlier 6 metre. Addressing the media, Faleiro said that the demand for maintaining a minimum height of 5.50 metre has been placed before the Chief Minister and also demanded an investigation over lapses by the consultant who has flouted IRC construction guidelines in constructing the bridge connecting the Saipem lake.
He said that upon being elected in March 2017, he had taken up the matter with the then chief minister late Manohar Parrikar, strongly recommending that the state and central governments should review the project features – elevating the western national highway bypass – road over bridges, stilts and such passages- that would allow free flow of water through the traditional rivulets, irrigation tanks and environment balancing water bodies.
He said that he again had another meeting with Parrikar who within three days asked the PWD engineers to estimate the additional cost for constructing the road over stilts and bridges. It was estimated to cost approximately Rs 180 crore.
“He assured me that he would get it sanctioned from the Centre, which he eventually did,” he said.
However, now under the guise of pandemic, it was noticed that the contractor has drastically reduced the height by nearly 50 per cent and it was brought to the notice of executive engineer of PWD division XIV Laxmikant Naik and sought specified vertical clearance for the road crossing as per the guidelines and specifications available in IRC SP84-2014 Clause 2.10.1 which specifies minimum vertical clearance for underpasses for allowing all types of vehicular traffic.
He said that he raised the matter with the Chief Minister on July 1 and upon discussing the same at length, demanded that the ongoing work be stopped immediately until a proper technical solution is finalised so as to avoid draining of the public exchequer.
“I also insisted that an inquiry be conducted as to how such a blunder could be made in keeping only 3.7 metre of vertical clearance over the Navelim-Sinquetim road,” he said.