The South Goa district Road Safety Committee meeting held on Friday debated the same old issue – when would the Transport department make available 50 per cent of the fees collected by way of fines and challans to the district road safety committee to take up road safety works in the district?
Chaired by newly appointed district Collector, Asvin Chandru, IAS the meeting deliberated on the Transport department’s failure to make available 50 per cent of the fines and challans collected by the Transport department to the district road safety committee to undertake road safety works.
Sources informed that PWD, Executive Engineer Prasad Panandikar raised the issue at the road safety meeting Chaired by the district Collector on Friday, reminding the district authorities as well as the officials of the transport department that the government notification dated March 15, 2017, mandates the Transport Department to make available 50 per cent of fees collected by the department by ways of fines and challans.
He lamented that despite the issue being repeatedly raised by the members of the road safety committee at every meeting, the road safety works executing agencies are yet to receive the funds as per the government notification.
In fact, a glance at the minutes of the October 2022 meeting of the district road safety meeting showed that the same issue took the centre stage when the PWD and other officials reminded the Additional Director of Transport to make available 50 per cent of the fees collected by the Transport department by way of fees.
At that meeting, the Addl Director of Transport (ADT) replied saying the collected funds are not sufficient and had requested PWD to bear costs for taking up the road safety works. The ADT had informed that fees amounting to around Rs 3 crores are collected in a year, to which all the Executive Engineers of Division-VI (Roads), XIV(NH), XVIII (Roads), XXV (Roads) and AE-I, Div-XV (NH) had told the Transport officials that it is not possible to execute Time Bound Road Safety works through PWD funds in view of the time-consuming process.
At Friday’s meeting, when the district Collector, Chandru sought to know the way ahead in the given situation, GOACAN Coordinator Roland Martins and Lorna Fernandes replied saying a mechanism needs to be put in place to ensure that decisions adopted at the meeting are being implemented by the concerned departments.
After much discussion, the meeting has finally decided to seek funds from the State Road Safety Fund to put up new signages, paintings of the Zebra crossings, speed breakers etc on priority for South Goa District.SPECIAL MEETING: STRAY CATTLE & CCTV
>> The meeting further decided to call for a special meeting of representatives of Directorate of Panchayats and Directorate of Municipal Administration to discuss steps to tackle stray cattle and encroachments on footpaths & roads as it is having an impact on road safety in South Goa.
>> It was further decided to call for a special meeting to finalise an action plan to put in place CCTV cameras with Annual Maintenance Contract. The CCTV surveillance cameras have been lying defunct over the years with the Margao Municipal Council defaulting in carrying out the maintenance of the cameras installed in the city around 2014 under the MPLAD Funds.