Goa in need of more traffic infrastructure

The number of vehicles in Goa since the beginning of the century has almost doubled from 3.35 lakh in 2001 to 5.91 lakh in 2009, while the total length of roads moving across the state has remained 4,251 km — national highways (264 km), state highways (226 km), major district roads (797 km) and village roads (2,964 km) — with very few stretches of roads being widened till date. Interestingly, the state transport department has registered more than 6 lakh vehicles, as a number of vehicle owners from outside Goa have chosen to register their vehicles in the state.

The lack of will on the part of the administration to translate the proposed additional traffic infrastructure existing on paper into bridges, over-bridges, subways, flyovers and bypass roads, in the near future, would however, cause serious repercussions on the road movement, especially as the projected number of vehicles in the state in the year 2021 stands at 15 lakh. At present, on an average 25,000 new vehicles are being added to the state traffic, every year.

The managing director of the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation, Mr. Sanjeet Rodrigues told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the GSIDC is currently handling various infrastructure projects around the state, and has more in the pipeline, to be undertaken in the future.

Furthermore, the exponential growth in vehicle population and dominance of old vehicles, especially public transport buses on Goan roads make the issue of vehicular inspection, a prime concern. Of recent, several aggressive initiatives to control vehicle pollution have been taken up in Goa, but most of the steps are directed towards new vehicle emission norms and fuel quality improvements. The transport department, by and large, depend on visual checks and limited road tests (for checking brakes) for inspecting the vehicles for fitness certification.

Goa Government has decided to hire the services of New Delhi-based Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) to streamline its traffic system. Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said on Saturday that the Government wanted to workout a comprehensive road traffic policy. In that context, it had assigned to CRRI a project to study the traffic situation in the State and prepare plans to help bring down the number of road accidents.

At the behest of MARG, a three-member team headed by Director of CRRI S. Gangopadhyay was in Goa for a preliminary study.

Source: Navhind Times, Hindu