MARGAO: Decades old delay in the execution of the ambitious Margao ring road project will now cost the exchequer a bomb to complete the project.
Blame it on lack of political will to shift and rehabilitate the migrants inhabiting the Cine Lata colony, coming along the ring road alignment or simply the failure to acquire land along the Gandhi market stretch of the ring road, the government has now proposed to connect the ring road with an elevated corridor, estimated to cost the Centre and Goa government a whopping over ₹100 crore.
The elevated corridor or a flyover is expected to save the migrant shanties near Cine Lata from demolition. At the same time, construction of the flyover will not necessitate land acquisition along the Gandhi market stretch of the ring road, sources said.
The kilometer-long flyover will start just before the Cine Lata migrant colony where the ring road has hit a dead end because of the hutments. And, the flyover will descend near the Old railway station just ahead of the Victor Hospitals, sources informed.
While the elevated corridor is expected to link the ring road, at the stretch between Cine Lata and Old Station Road, questions whether a flyover worth over ₹100 crore just to complete the long-delayed ring road project has become a subject matter of debate.
The flyover project also raises questions about how the government will go about the Cine Lata migrant colony, and whether the inhabitants will stay put at the existing place or will be rehabilitated on the government-acquired land.
For, PWD officials in the know informed that the government had acquired land admeasuring 7,000 square metres at Comba for the rehabilitation of the land losers displaced by the ring road project, especially along the Comba section of the project.
Sources further informed that the government had also acquired land near Cine Lata itself. PWD officials, however, told The Goan that the acquiring department is yet to hand over the possession of the acquired land free from all encumbrances.
Shedding light on the ring road project, Margao MLA Digambar Kamat has said a fresh initiative has been made to complete the long-delayed ring project.
“The ring road is complete along the Aquem powerhouse to the old Margao station road near Victor hospital. The stretch from Old market-Comba-Cine Lata stretch is also complete. The project could not see light of the day because of the missing link between Cine Lata and old Margao station. To tide over the issues, it has been proposed to build an elevated corridor connecting Cine Lata to the Old Margao station road’, Kamat said.
He added: “Since the project will need a huge amount of funds, it has been decided to seek central funding from the Union Ministry of Surface Transport to build the elevated corridor and complete the ring road”.
The Ring Road project was first mooted in the late 70s by the Margao Municipal Council in order to streamline the traffic flow and take care of the city’s future traffic requirements. Sadly, the Ring Road project began to take shape only in the 90s and was taken up in phases along the Aquem and Comba stretches.