Say unlike stilts, they will not suffice for quick drainage of rain water in low lying fields
Fear and anxiety were writ large on the faces of residents of Pedda-Benaulim as they descended at the construction site of the western bypass with local MLA Venzy Viegas, officials of the PWD, NH and the contractor executing the bypass work.
Reason; The residents appeared convinced that construction of the culverts on the bypass alignment in the low lying fields will not take care of flooding and inundation of their residential locality during monsoons.
They assembled at the site with the MLA and Panchayat members to convey their apprehensions over the culvert work being executed by the bypass contractor, fearing the culvert and alignment will not suffice for quick drainage of flood water.
This is not the first time the residents of Pedda locality and the farmers have assembled at the bypass alignment to express their fears and apprehensions over construction of the bypass that will spell doom for the locality in the future. The MLA as well as the residents drew attention of the PWD, NH Executive Engineer Dattaprasad Kamat how the culvert being laid by the contractor will not prevent flooding in the locality.
After the inspection, MLA Venzy termed the bypass work as a big mess, saying he has come to make sure the floods do not take place in the coming monsoons. “We have demanded construction of the bypass on stilts, but the government has not acceded to our request. Exactly 60 days to go for the onset of monsoons and we are bracing up to face the floods once again”, he said.
He added: “Instead of putting the bypass on stilts, the PWD is building the box culverts. Will these culverts ensure drainage of the rain water? They say the box culvert will minimize the water inundation, but we can say around 12 metres of water comes during the monsoons. Where’s the engineering gone. This is the mess they have done when people have been demanding the bypass on stilts. That is the reason why the people had demanded that the panchayat go to the court with a plea to build the bypass on stilts”.
The Benaulim MLA recalled that Water Resources Department officials had on June 7 last had seen how Benaulim was inundated last year. “After the inspection, the WRD had categorically said the topo sheet used for doing calcunations were not in tune with the present situation. They say the water flows from Verna to the sea, but the rain water gets stuck up here resulting in water logging and floods”, he added
PWD, NH officials later told The Goan that the PWD is executing work on the bypass as per the scope approved by the High Court. The officials, however, hastened to add that whatever additional changes proposed by the PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral, including the additional culverts, will be built along the Benaulim stretch of the bypass for quick drainage of rain water.