Thursday, January 26, 2023
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Goa’s Roads - A Current Disaster - By Aires Rodrigues
Sunday - Jan 8, 2023
Goa’s Roads - A Current Disaster - By Aires Rodrigues
Unless there is a sustained people's movement in Goa to demand good and durable roads, the perennial potholes will never vanish. It is high time Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral realize and come to terms on the need for good roads. They should be advised that a Good Road is one that is laid on a hard compact driving surface which is built to withstand the wear and tear it will be subjected to by our Goa weather.
 
Acid rain, sea salt deposition, maximum estimated traffic density and load all add to the stress and strains to be endured. Roads should be designed to be totally water resistant, standing on hard, solid ground with proper deep roadside drains and soft bottoms for soaking the rainwater besides being designed in consultation with the local community who are familiar and conversant with the landscape and local traditional drainage.
 
But with corruption and commission at the helm, our roads are not being constructed according to local geology and subsoil besides certainly not waterproof. Needless to say, they are being hastily built to meet deadlines without proper parallel drains as a result of which the water stagnates causing erosion.   The authorities are not considering traffic density, load, speed and wear and tear while planning our roads which are also wilfully damaged due to frequent digging and rain containing acidic sea salts which destroys the hot mix as they are built without consulting the knowledgeable locals.
 
Rampant Corruption in certification after completion by manipulating original specifications is another eyesore. If the tender asks 25 mm premix hot carpet, then only 18-20 mm thick is applied and bills show 25 mm. The certifying engineer and contractor manage it all and there is no independent audit done to inspect and expose such corrupt practices. The onus on bad roads also lies on the total disinterest of village panchayats, gram sabhas and municipal authorities who fail to monitor technical details of roads passing through their areas as well as their subsequent construction, maintenance and repairs.

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