Goa: After 2-Year Hiatus, Work Resumes On Incomplete Agonda Bridge Project

Goa: After 2-Year Hiatus, Work Resumes On Incomplete Agonda Bridge Project

The contractor stopped the work without even making provision for pedestrians to cross over the bridge, even though the link between Parvem and Dhavalkhazan is considered very important.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 07:05 PM IST
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Canacona: After leaving the 14.6-mtr long culvert bridge incomplete for nearly two years, the PWD seems to have finally become active and reportedly got three different contractors to complete the pending works on the Borim bridge in Agonda.

Since Saturday, a JCB was pressed into service to excavate the river bank to construct the wing walls at the incomplete culvert bridge, for which the construction of approach roads and the erection of railings are the other two remaining major works on this bridge virtually abandoned by PWD almost two years ago.

How the contractor completed the bridge

It may be noted that the bridge contractor had completed the work to construct the 2-box culvert bridge of 14.60 metres (from the originally planned 12-metres), but had partially erected only two wing walls (6 and 3 metres in length), of the required four wing walls on one side.

The contractor then moved his machinery without constructing the approach roads on either sides and without erecting any railings, after the sanctioned funds of ₹62.6 lakh got exhausted by June last year.

The contractor had blamed PWD by claiming that the bridge project had been ill-designed and the PWD had failed to act in time to obtain sanctions on the shortcomings, which led to the incomplete works of the bridge.

A source close to the contractor had said the PWD had been informed to obtain sanction for additional costs required to complete the bridge.

As a result, the contractor stopped the work without even making provision for pedestrians to cross over the bridge, even though the link between Parvem and Dhavalkhazan is considered very important.

After residents raised hue and cry after they were unable to use the bridge, mud was dumped on either sides of the bridge to enable them to walk on the bridge. But some motorists began taking their vehicles on the mud in a bid to use the bridge, posing a serious danger to lives.

The matter was then raised by locals at the Gram Sabha, which was also attended by speaker and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar and he assured to complete the bridge immediately.

The foundation stone for the culvert bridge was laid by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in the presence of then Dy Speaker and Canacona MLA Isidore Fernandes in September 2021, after the Portuguese-era footbridge was demolished.

3 contractors are working on the project

Three contractors are now working on the project. One contractor claimed he has bagged the contract to erect the four wing walls on either side of the bridge and pressed a JCB into service since Saturday.

A source from Agonda panchayat said the contract to construct the approach road has been bagged by another contractor, while the same source is unaware of the third contractor who will erect the railings on the culvert bridge.

Incidentally, the bridge comes under the jurisdiction of two panch members. On the one side is ward panch and Agonda Sarpanch Preettal Fernandes, while the other side of the bridge is the ward represented by Nilesh Pagi.

Both are eagerly trying to complete bridge, since this bridge not only connects the village on its northern side, but the bridge is considered vital view of tourism activities in this coastal village.

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