PANAJI: Traffic jams and billowing dust have once again become the order of the day with workers having excavated key intra-city roads in the capital city for executing the 'Smart City' works.
Dust can be seen rising everywhere along the streets causing hardship to residents, visitors and ground-floor shop owners across the city. Hoteliers, especially, are complaining that like in the 10 months prior to when Smart City work was stopped before the monsoon, their business and footfalls have begun to take an early hit.
Contractors for the Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) have excavated roads and begun laying underground sewerage pipelines along the 18th June Road, the St Inez junction near Taj Vivanta right up to the Caculo Mall and along the Taleigao road from the T-junction at Sheetal Hotel to the junction near the Madhuban complex.
Dust creates inconvenience for residents
Residents in these areas are complaining that the dust rises into their homes and are demanding that the contractors deploy tankers for sprinkling water to prevent dust pollution.
Those most hit are residents in the areas along the 18th June road, one of the busiest in the capital city. Apart from some residential edifices, there are many commercial buildings on either side of this road, including the Junta House which houses some public offices which are frequented by people.
What has made the situation worse is that vehicle owners are parking haphazardly with the dug roads eating up space leading to traffic chaos and no traffic police personnel have been deployed to manage the chaos.
IPSCDL has begun work in the capital city as part of the second phase of the Smart City projects a few days ago and targets to complete 50 per cent of the work in this phase.
The Smart City Mission's term across the country ends in June 2024 by which time all work has to be completed, failing which a large part of the central funds already disbursed to the State will have to be returned.