Thursday 18 Apr 2024

Smart City works: Compliance report on pollution, traffic management next week, govt tells HC


At the receiving end regarding dust pollution owing to the Smart City works in Panaji, the State government on Wednesday assured the Bombay High Court at Goa to submit compliance report next week on measures to mitigate the pollution besides the handling of vehicular traffic and road safety.

Advocate General Devidas Pangam’s assurance to the Division bench of Justice Mahesh Sonak and Justice Valmiki Menezes was made during the ongoing hearing of two Public Interest Litigations, which alleged that development works in Panaji lacked supervision, planning, and were carried out haphazardly.

The AG further stated that all roads would be operational in phases by May 31 while reiterating commitment to filing a compliance report next week on measures to curb dust pollution, as well as traffic management, and road safety concerns.

The petitioners, residents of St Inez and surrounding, once again highlighted some deficiencies, such as only having two air quality monitoring stations instead of six and insufficient police personnel for traffic management. To this, the Bench urged cooperation to ensure the works are completed at the earliest.

The Bench also acknowledged the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and urged locals to recognise that officials are also assigned election-related responsibilities. The next hearing is scheduled for April 16 which is when more submissions from each party will be made.

On Monday, the Justices even held a personal inspection of the city and pointed out dust pollution and some incomplete works. The Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited officials also ensured to water-spray the dusted roads ahead of the visit, which was clearly noticed by the Justices who then showed thick layers of dust on the trees, the structures and other places.

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