Local Goa News

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Govt turns blind eye to GMC motor underpass

Panaji: The government's utter callousness and lack of regard for traffic sense forces hundreds of pedestrians to run the daily gauntlet of speeding traffic at the junction in front of the Goa Medical College (GMC) and hospital even as the government continues to turn a blind eye to the motor underpass outside the GMC at Bambolim. Built at a cost of approximately 8.65 crore, it appears that the state government has once again poured the taxpayers' precious money down the drain.

Even as speeding vehicles negotiate the confusion that is called the GMC junction, hapless pedestrians, which include students headed to the school complex at Cujira, and recuperating patients risk their life and limb to cross the road.
The motorable subway outside the GMC was conceptualized to facilitate proper flow of traffic and to help pedestrians, patients and doctors to safely cross the road. Proposed in 2013, ahead of the Lusofonia Games, the project has missed several deadlines and going by the delays that have followed since, the government appears to have forgotten about the underpass.
"We have already prepared a traffic plan. It was ready six months back. We have decided to implement it in phases in consultation with GSIDC, traffic police and others," PWD's principal chief engineer Uttam Parsekar said, as he attempted to emphasize that the government has not forgotten about the underpass.
Daily commuters and stranded pedestrians are unlikely to buy into his argument, which has been repeated before. Motorists travelling to Margao often get confused when they arrive at the Goa medical college junction as they see two lanes ahead with no signs indicating which the right one is. The road straight ahead leads vehicles into the subway and reaches the Bambolim sports athletic stadium.
After Goa state infrastructure development corporation (GSIDC) finished converting the old pedestrian subway into a motorable subway, the PWD put the finishing touches to the subway.
According to officials, the public works department was supposed to come up with a traffic plan and install signages to direct traffic into the subway, all of which never happened.
With the integrated school complex coming up at Cujira, the problem has turned even more acute.
The subway cross section measuring 7.5m wide and 5m high has four entry and exit points allowing vehicles from Goa medical college and hospital, Goa dental college and the integrated school complex at Cujira to use the subway to get to the other side of NH 17 without disrupting traffic.
This is not the first time the government has led the subway into disuse. With every passing day, the state continues to repeat the mistake made in 2009 when the earlier-built pedestrian subway fell into disuse and disrepair.
Built at a cost of around 10 crore, the pedestrian subway was not utilized and it soon turned into a haunt for the homeless. Currently, the underpass suffers a similar fate and is being used as a parking lot for cars.

TOI Goa News

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