At a time when the State government has been announcing dates to open the new Zuari Bridge for motorists, the first monsoon rains exposed ongoing work by the bridge contractor as a massive landslide along the Verna-Cortalim highway in the wee hours of Saturday led to some minor mishaps and a massive traffic jam.
The rains triggered a landslide near the Sharayu Toyota showroom at Kesarval, bringing down mud, stones and debris on the road and blocking the entire road.
According to sources, a motorist from the area alerted Cortalim MLA Anton Vas about the incident at around 2 am.
Vas rushed to the site and began coordinating with the contractor DBL to immediately start work to clear the debris and to level the landslide area. Vas also summoned PWD and highway officials to the site and to inspect the works taken by DBL to clear the roads.
By Saturday morning, the road was partially cleared even as Vas personally supervised the works in the presence of PWD officials.
Later speaking to media, Vas said he had warned the officials of DBL that he would not leave the site till DBL cleared the entire stretch of the highway and the mud which had entered the drainage by the roadside.
"When I arrived on site, I was shocked to see the entire road full of mud and stones and a few bikes had already met with minor accidents and had fallen due to the sudden landslide.”
“There was also a huge traffic jam as the entire road was blocked. I am not satisfied with their work and even a service road which was made along the hill by the side of the highway has given way. The DBL and the PWD must look into these issues and get them resolved for the safety of motorists," said Vas.
"I told the DBL contractor, officials that I don't mind having breakfast, lunch and dinner at the site, but will not move from here nor let them leave the site till the entire stretch of the highway is cleared and all mud is removed from the roads and the drainage,” said a visibly upset Vas.
The MLA said a JCB and a truck were pressed into service to clear the portion of the road.
"I have also told PWD officials to take proper steps to ensure safety of motorists because this is only the first shower. We could soon have heavy rains for days together and the PWD and DBL must explain to the people on how they plan to stop disasters from happening again,” said Vas.
“I had taken a pre-monsoon inspection earlier and DBL had opened the drainage near the Vailankani Chapel at the base of this slope which always witnesses flooding in the monsoons but now mud from the landslide has clogged the drainage again.”
“I will not tolerate any shoddy work by the DBL and since I reside in Cortalim, I will make sure I check the issue on a daily basis and call them as and when I see mud in the drainage," warned Vas.
(This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan)