Smart City contractors, workers still out of 'site'



More than 72 hours after the disruption caused by last Saturday's deluge, sites either dug or cordoned-off in the capital city for smart city work, are yet to return to normalcy and wore a deserted look throughout Tuesday.

Currently, in areas where the work of constructing the sewerage chamber network is completed, the contractors are working on providing connections to the buildings and houses but on Tuesday the work had not picked up pace.

As reported earlier, the rains and flooding witnessed last Saturday morning had damaged the redesigned pavements, including washing away of the freshly laid interlocking tiles. There was no activity even to restore these damaged portions of pavements in several areas of Panaji until late Tuesday evening.

Another area where worker movement and activity was slack  on Tuesday is the area at the Taj Vivanta junction at St Inez where according to one of the supervisors, the 'smart road' work is in the home stretch for a section from there right up to the PWD office at Tonca.

The supervisor admitted that water-logging and softening of the soil due to the rain had made working there impossible and a couple of days more of dry weather may be necessary to normalise their pace.

The wet soil has also brought to a halt work related to laying of underground cables, including optical fibre cables, of the many service providers. In several areas the damage done by Saturday's deluge is yet to be undone so that work can restart.  

Meanwhile, the flooding on Saturday has served as a wake-up call for government authorities, the Corporation of City of Panaji as well as officials of Imagine Panaji Smart City Private Ltd (IPSCDL) to pay attention to servicing the existing underground, storm-water drainage system of the city.

IPSCDL managing director and CEO, Sanjit Rodrigues, IAS, is now engaged in walking the extra mile to ensure that all the agencies involved are collaborating to unclog these drains, and where they intersect with roads, to ensure that they are linked. 

According to Rodrigues, a lot of attention is going into the drainage system but added that other work like the roads and pavements will also have to be continued by engaging more workers and increasing the working shifts.

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