Khandepar bridge escapes govt attention

1500 plus vehicles cross the bridge daily

Navin Jha / The Goan | DECEMBER 15, 2012, 12:35 PM IST

There are plans to build bridges on small streams and bigrivers in the state but there seems to be no plans to replace the narrowKhandepar Bridge on NH4A.

The Khandepar bridge is Goa’s lifeline to vegetable and milkimports and a vital link that joins rest of Goa to Karnataka especiallyBelgaum, Hubli, Dharwad and even Pune.

The bridge that caters to thousands of vehicles on a dailybasis is crying for attention of the authorities.

The 90 meters long bridge on the national highway built onriver Khandepar, which links north Goa to Karnataka, is one of the oldestbridge in the state built during the Portuguese rule.

It is so narrow that two vehicles cannot pass over thebridge at a time and therefore a lot of traffic congestion occurs on regularbasis, which stalls traffic movement on many occasions.

Further there is load restriction which prohibits heavyvehicles of more than 16 tons capacity to cross over the bridge.

However, as the local traffic police do not havenotification details on load restriction, they are helpless to stop heavyvehicles, sometimes of even more than 32 tons capacity, informed a trafficpolice.

The then traffic cell in charge of Ponda division, PI SalimShaikh informed that he had written more than five times to the state PWDrequesting them to take up the issue of traffic problems at the bridge. He hadalso requested to install electric signals on either side of the bridge.

“Besides giving my plan of action to deploy more personnelduring peak hours, I asked them to widen the approach road to the bridge onboth side so that vehicles can be lined up on either side. But not muchattention was given to my request,” said PI Salim Shaikh.

According to the present traffic PI Pramod Shirvoikar, hehad followed up the matter with the PWD department officials, who have nowinstalled the electric signals four months back but the same is not yetoperational.

Several accidents have occurred on the bridge in the past.With the increase in vehicular traffic, traffic congestion occurs everyday andaggravates particularly when there is a breakdown of a heavy vehicle on thebridge.

Interestingly the issue of new bridge was repeatedlyraised  in the  local Curti-Khandepar panchayat gram sabhaand a resolution was also passed and forwarded to the government.  But not much happened after that said formersarpanch and present panch, said John Pereira.

“We have heard that tender process for new bridge iscompleted. The government should understand that a bridge which caters to morethan 1500 vehicles everyday is equally important like those of Borim andZuari,” Pereira said.

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