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IRB platoons to help maintain lane discipline

PANAJI: To put an end to the traffic snarls at the Agassaim stretch and Cortalim junction on the Panaji-Margao highway, the government has directed the public works department (PWD) to make the use of a slipway from the Cortalim junction for the traffic moving towards Margao. The government has also asked the traffic police to deploy additional manpower to ensure that motorists maintain lane discipline and help in smooth flow of traffic at the construction site of the new Zuari bridge.

Following instructions from Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently in the United States for medical check-up related to his ailment, a joint inspection was carried out at Agassaim and the Cortalim junction by a team of senior officials on Friday.

The junction has been witnessing mega traffic jams since the last few days. Scores of vehicles are seen stuck end to end on the stretch of the road from Agassaim to the Cortalim junction which has been riddled with potholes. To make matters worse, no one seems to have any patience, resulting in massive traffic jams throughout the day.

Following Parrikar’s instructions, Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister P Krishnamurthy, Director General of Police Dr Muktesh Chander accompanied by traffic police and PWD officials visited both, the Agassaim stretch and the Cortalim junction on Friday. The team of officials observed some bottlenecks in the traffic flow from Margao to Panaji and vice-versa, particularly around the Cortalim junction, Cortalim cross and at Agassaim.

Speaking to this daily, Sharma said that they have reviewed the situation and deliberated on what kind of stable work can be taken up to increase the carriageway at the construction site of the new Zuari bridge. A note issued by Inspector General of Police Jaspal Singh said that some remedial measures have been suggested to regulate traffic flow at the construction site of the new bridge.

“Work is being taken up immediately. The work of filling the potholes is being taken up on a continuous basis with deployment of additional manpower. Traffic police have been directed to deploy additional manpower to ensure lane discipline. Two platoons of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) have also been deployed. Police have been given detailed instructions for continuous monitoring of the traffic situation,” Sharma said.

The ground survey has revealed some factors which appear to be responsible for the bottlenecks. These factors include the ongoing construction work leading to restricted road space thereby limiting the discharge at junctions/roundabouts. Besides, deep potholes around these stretches cause accumulation of rainwater therein leading to slowing down of the vehicles resulting in piling up of the vehicles, Singh said.

According to him, two platoons of IRB have been provided to the traffic police till further orders to assist them in the regulation of traffic. They will be briefed properly and deployed around these stretches particularly at places where there is a possibility of drivers breaking the lane rule. Deputy Superintendents (Traffic), North and South, and the police inspectors under their charge will ensure coordinated regulation of traffic and monitor the flow in real time at funnel points and accordingly decide which discharge point is to be given extra time so that a buildup of vehicle queues is averted. Police inspectors have been instructed to actively involve themselves in the regulation of traffic and dynamically monitor the situation.

Police inspectors of the Verna and Agassaim police stations have also been directed to monitor the traffic density on these stretches and render all assistance to traffic unit in normalising the flow. Sub division police officers of Panaji and Vasco have been also asked to ensure the same.

The IGP said that in case of contingencies such as breakdown of vehicles, accidents etc on the stretch, instructions have been given to take the quickest possible action with swift completion of legal formalities.

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