Tuesday 16 Aug 2022

Getting to the heart of the bypass issue

A non-committal BJP-led government has raised questions on whether the Margao Western bypass will be constructed on stilts as per the demands of the villagers or on earthen embankments along the 11-km route from Dramapur-Telaulim-Navelim, Benaulim, Seraulim, Nuvem and Verna. While the government has decided to build the houses rnthat will be demolished, both Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar have shied away from handing out any firm assurance on building the bypass on stilts.

| MAY 17, 2016, 04:50 AM IST
The Goan takes a close look at the views and opinions of the MLAs representing the villages along the bypass route, besides the stands of both, the CM and the PWD minister

Let us not oppose the bypass. We have already taken up work of desilting of river Sal along Navelim-Telaulim stretch. The government has plans to desilt the entire river right from Verna. The government has promised to build the houses going for demolition in my constituency. However, I strongly feel that the government should build the bypass on stilts along the Salpem lake-river Sal stretch. The bypass is needed because the national highway traffic passes through Navelim village and there’s no scope for road widening near the church-school complex.
—Avertano Furtado, Fisheries Minister 

Let me make it clear that people of Benaulim are not opposing the bypass. What they are demanding is a bypass on stilts. The government should take a call whether it considers the lives of people important or the cost of the project. My humble request to the government is not to put the lives of the people at risk just to save a few crores of rupees. Benaulim is prone to flooding every year, especially in the low-lying areas every year. I want to tell the government that people will not allow the bypass if it is not on stilts.
—Caitu Silva, Benaulim MLA 

The government appears to be misguiding the people on the construction of the bypass. If it is sincere in its stand, it should immediately make public the feasibility report of the project. Mere construction of additional culverts will not solve the problem of flooding. The government had promised to take up desilting of river Sal, but it has not happened till date. I oppose the bypass as it is being constructed without any feasibility study.
—Mickky Pacheco, Nuvem MLA

It is surprising that the government is holding the power point presentation at the stage of execution of the project when it ought to have been done at the conceptualization stage. It doesn’t appear to be serious on the issue. If it is, then let it it take up desilting of river Sal alongside the bypass work.
—Vijai Sardesai, Fatorda MLA

The cost of the project is around Rs 200 crore. We can increase the cost by another Rs 50 crore. It cannot go up by 100 per cent. Building the bypass on stilts will increase the cost manifold. The government has taken up many road works. There’s rain not just in Salcete, but across the state. Salcete’s topography is no different from other parts of Goa. We want to solve the issue. We have no plan to create a situation wherein people will face floods.  
—Laxmikant Parsekar, Chief Minister

The government will re-build the houses going for demolition, but don’t stop us from constructing the bypass. We have got the pipe culverts removed and replaced them with box culverts for smooth drainage of rain water. Constructing the bypass on stilts will raise the cost. We have to think on the cost factor. It is not in our hands. At the most, we can take the views of the people demanding bypass to the Centre. We have to think whether is it required to spend more money on the project or is it unnecessary.
—Sudin Dhavalikar, PWD Minister
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