No more Chinese material for new Zuari bridge

Panaji: The recent announcement by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari that the Centre would not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects, including those through joint ventures, will not result in any delay in the completion of the Rs 1,400 crore bridge being constructed on the river Zuari.

Coming out with this information, Minister for Public Works Deepak Pauskar told ‘The Navhind Times’ that according to vice-president (constructions) for Dilip Buildcon Atul Joshi, the bridge would be completed in April 2021 as per the schedule.

“I have just now spoken to Joshi and was informed that Dilip Buildcon will henceforth follow new guidelines of the ministry of road transport and highways for the construction of this bridge,” Pauskar added, pointing out that the Chinese consultants as well as material from that country would no more be used for this bridge.

“Even though Dilip Buildcon has already used 25 per cent of the Chinese material for the under-construction Zuari bridge, the company will now have to import rest of the material from other country,” he informed, noting that a new consultant will also have to be roped in, preferably from the same country from which the material would be imported. The new Zuari bridge is being built by Dilip Buildcon with Shanghai Tonggang Bridge Technology providing expertise on several aspects as well as materials.

The Chinese consultants were expected to arrive in Goa to examine parts of this work, but could not do so due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Informing that this bridge is almost 65 per cent complete, the minister said that Dilip Buildcon will be responsible for sourcing new consultant as well as importing the construction material from other country.

“The state government will follow up the construction from time to time, and I have already briefed the PWD chief engineer about the same,” he added.

Incidentally two observation towers of around 110 metre height each, which form part of the bridge and are yet to be constructed, were supposed to use Chinese technology.

It was further informed that there would be no problems encountered during the construction of the Zuari bridge due to the recent exodus of the labourers from Goa to their native places.

The work on the approach roads of the new Zuari bridge is almost 80 per cent complete.