A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice B.P.Dharmadhikari and Justice A.S.Gadkari today directed the Goa Government to stop further digging on the Miramar- Dona Paula Road.
The Court directions came after hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues against the squandering of public funds by the Goa Government on the concretization of Miramar- Dona Paula Road at a whopping cost of over Rs 84.63 crores. The Court adjourned the further hearing to September 17th.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues today pointed out to the Court that the Miramar-Dona Paula road which was hot mixed in January this year at a the cost of Rs 1.63 crores was in less than a month soon dug up by Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) to concretize the road for a cost of Rs 84.63 crores.
Pointing out the Corporation of City of Panaji was not consulted on the issue, Adv. Rodrigues argued that the digging up a freshly hot mixed road was a gross misuse of power and a daylight robbery of public funds.
Adv. Rodrigues also drew the attention of the Court that the Miramar- Dona Paula Road which is four lane was now being reduced to three lane on the advice of the Chief Minister who had opined that there was no much traffic on that road.
Adv. Rodrigues in his petition has stated that the sewage line which has been laid at such an enormous cost at the center of the road will be now covered up with a concrete road and incase of any damage or repair of the sewage line it will require fresh digging up of the concrete road.
Adv. Rodrigues has also drawn the Court’s attention that the Goa Government had earlier experimented in concretizing a portion of a road at Cuncolim at a cost of Rs 5 crores, and the road developed huge cracks so much so that the concrete had to be removed and the road was hot mixed again at a cost of Rs 3.15 crores causing huge loss to the exchequer.
Stating that Public funds are to be used in public interest and that the Government and its officers hold such funds in trust for the public while using such funds bonafide and to sub serve the public good, Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition submitted that Government cannot squander public funds or award contracts by way of largesse to the detriment of public interest.
Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition also submitted that the illegal concretization of the road was an unnecessary burden on the State exchequer and that the expenditure incurred be recovered from the officers concerned.