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Goa seeks Rs 7,000 cr for highways, Centre sanctions just Rs 110 crore, ET Infra


<p>Representative Image</p>
Representative Image

PANAJI: The state faces a funding roadblock for highway expansion projects after seeking Rs 7,000 crore this year from the Centre but receiving approval for only Rs 110 crore. The Goa public works department (PWD) submitted the proposals amid an upswell of demands from locals to alter the national highway expansion projects from Bhoma to Navelim and Canacona.

“The reason for the rejection of the proposals for this year has not been made clear. But many priority highway projects are under way throughout the country, which are more crucial to complete,” said an official. “As for Goa, several stretches of the highway are left to be completed still, including around 50kms from Navelim to Polem, barring the completed stretch along Canacona town.”

The proposals sent to the Centre also included the new Borim bridge and the four-laning of the Nuvem-Arlem road.

Over the past few years, Goa has been granted a generous package of Rs 14,000 crore in phases for various highway expansion projects, including the construction of the new eight-lane Zuari bridge. But now the flow of funds has slowed down.

“In Goa, a highway expansion project which will cost Rs 50 crore in other states, costs Rs 100 crore,” the official said. “This is because the government has to pay higher rates to acquire land. Moreover, the demands from locals for elevated highways and other alterations increase costs.”

Locals, for instance, had demanded a tunnel highway at Karmal Ghat in Canacona, while there is demand for a bypass in Bhoma. At Bhoma, to resolve the issue, the PWD is looking at an elevated highway now.

“Altering the projects in this manner means that costs go up and any project of over Rs 300 crore cannot be tendered by the state government and has to be tendered by the central ministry. This complicates the process,” said the official.

Then PWD minister Nilesh Cabral had said that funds have been diverted from elsewhere to complete the western bypass on stilts, on the promise that the central ministry will reimburse about Rs 165 crore of the balance required to finish the project.

  • Published On Nov 24, 2023 at 12:30 PM IST

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