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Moving of power lines delays NH 17-B work

Moving of power lines delays NH 17-B work

14 Apr 2019 No comment 46 hits

PANAJI: The ongoing work to widen and convert NH 17-B as a four-lane highway appears to have hit a speed bump at Verna due to delays in isolation and shifting of utility services, like power lines and telephone cables. The delay has sparked concern among industrialists at Verna Industrial estate who fear that failure to complete the project before the monsoons could create unnecessary inconvenience for movement of raw material, finished products and commuters along the stretch.

Highlighting the problem, Verna Industries Association (VIA) has urged the state government to provide additional funds to facilitate the shifting of underground utility services.

“The cost to shift utilities is not included in the tender, which the Centre floated,” VIA president Damodar Kochkar said. “It is understood that they have provision of only Rs 15 lakh as against Rs 1.25 crore required only to shift overhead electrical lines.”

The NH 17-B link connects NH 17-B with NH 4 and passes through the Verna Industrial Estate and Loutolim. PWD has taken up the ambitious project as it aims to reduce the distance and time taken to travel between Mormugao and Belagavi via Ponda.

The VIA has raised its concerns with the BJP-led state government and has also taken up the matter with the relevant ministries. “In spite of constant representation, nothing has been done about this. These underground utilities have been kept as it is below the road, but now the contractor cannot go ahead with work as the overhead electrical lines and installation are also not shifted,” Kochkar said.

“Most of the work is on, but, yes, there are minor issues in shifting of some cables,” said principal chief engineer of PWD Utam Parsekar. “We are working on them.”

VIA, which has held several meetings with PWD, insists that the state government has failed to understand the plight of the commuters and the industry. To make matters worse, says Kochkar, the election procedure has paralysed the functioning of the industries. “All electricity sub-station officers have been assigned to election duty. If the decision is not taken soon then the road work will not get completed before monsoon and Verna industries will face hardships,” said Kochkar.
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