Local Goa News

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dona Paula roadwork keeps riders guessing

PANAJI: Even as the post monsoon tourist season has commenced, rigorous repair works are underway at the Dona Paula-NIO road for its concretization and beautification. NIO circle has been drilled, leaving only a small stretch accessible for commuters. One half of the slope leading to the roundabout has been dug out as part of the concretization process.

Despite two traffic policemen at the foot and the head of the slope, peak hours see a lot of chaos. Tourist and public transport buses, parked haphazardly around the circle, has added to the bottleneck. "Big vehicles tend to get stuck due to lack of space. Only two and four-wheelers can move through," said one of the policemen.
At present, iron rods are being placed around the roundabout for concretization. "At the speed which we are going, we should be able to finish the concretization by this month, but the other small things will take time," said one of the labourers, Chimon Nayak. The deadline set for completion is November 15. Manager for engineering at GSIDC, Sandip Chodnekar remains optimistic. "We are moving at a good pace and will be able to complete the road's concretization and beautification before Iffi commences." he said.
Jacinta Alphonso, owner of a bus service Valencio Travels, said that her buses' timings have got affected due to the work. "We are usually on schedule but get stuck on the slope for 20-30 minutes during peak hours. When we miss our scheduled time, we have to let the next bus go and this has been affecting our business," she said.
Buses going uphill have to usually wait at the bottom of the slope for the heavy vehicles coming downhill to pass, before proceeding. Though the road leading to Dona Paula jetty is complete, bus access to the scenic spot has still not started. Tourist buses that bring in hordes of visitors continue to drop passengers at the NIO circle, forcing them to walk all the way in and also adding to the traffic on the road. "We don't mind the construction bit, but walking all the way inside can be quite tiring. There should be a vehicle or something to ferry people from the circle to the jetty," said a tourist, Tejashwini Bethori.
Residents too have been complaining. Shyam Gauns who stays in Aivao wado of Dona Paula said that traffic jam on the slope during peak hours has become a daily issue. "This becomes a problem especially when dropping kids to school," he added.
Nelson Cabral, who runs the Arcanjela bar and restaurant adjoining the circle chose to look at the larger picture. "Some sacrifice is necessary for the sake of development. The concretization and development works are for the benefit of the people," he said. Liaqat Ansari, a watchman at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) said that once the main gate to the institute is shut for work in front of the institute, an alternate gate will be open for staff and visitors.

TOI Goa News

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