Panaji: Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has urged the state government to undertake technical assessment of old bridges or culverts in the state.
In letter written to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, copies of which were made available to media, GCCI President Manoj Caculo has said,”The collapse of the old bridge at Mahad in August 2016 on Goa – Mumbai highway was one of the serious tragedies of recent times as many precious lives were lost besides other assets. Immediately thereafter we wrote to the government of the day that it should take adequate preventive measures so that similar tragedy is not repeated in Goa by undertaking a technical audit of the bridges or culverts in the state by a committee of experts to ascertain their structural stability.”
He pointed out that most of the bridges or culverts in Goa (barring a few major ones) were built during the Portuguese era and they were designed for certain carrying capacities keeping in mind the limited traffic projections envisaged at those times.
”These bridges or culverts are very old and we are uncertain of their present conditions and current load bearing capacities. A portion of the Bailey bridge at Borim collapsed on 17th February 2017 that had sent a direct warning signal to all of us that we need to take up the assessment work on topmost priority. GCCI had repeated with the same request then also to the government. It is almost five years that GCCI has first raised its concern on this serious matter. We are totally ignorant of any development from the side of the government, whether a committee has been constituted with persons of technical competence to verify the structural stability of the bridges or culverts and a report has been submitted by them,” he said.
A copy of the letter has also been sent to State Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Deepak Pauskar and PWD Principal Chief Engineer U P Parsekar.