Bypass work gets help from a landslide!

Panaji, Oct 10 (IANS) Some would say it happens only in India. A landslide has turned into an unexpected boon for work on national highway bypass roads in Goa – as it has become a source of mud required for the construction activity.

Some of Goa’s congested and vehicle-clogged little towns are expected get a respite once the bypass roads are built around them. Now mud is being taken there from the site of a major landslide near the crucial Mandovi bridge that connects capital Panaji with the rest of the state.

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The landslide following heavy rains caused heavy disruption to traffic for weeks since Sep 4. Trees were uprooted and a portion of the hillock collapsed sending the mud on the road and blocking traffic.

Seeking to cash in on this opportunity, work for realignment of a four-kilometre stretch of the National Highway 17 from Goa Velha to Agassaim villages, 10 km south of here, is in full swing. The estimated amount of mud required to complete this stretch is about 100,000 cubic metres.

The task was given an impetus by the 6,000 truckloads of mud collected from the debris of the landslide.

Land for the road, which winds its way through green and lush fields, was acquired around 13 years ago. However, work on this stretch started only a little over a month ago.

For the initial part, the mud used came from the neighbouring village of Bambolim but the mud from the landslide site has helped complete around one and a half kilometres. Around two and a half kilometres remain before the road touches the existing road near the Agassaim police station.

The West Coast-hugging National Highway 17 starts at Panvel in Maharashtra and ends at Edappally near Ernakulam in Kerala.

The highway connects important cities and towns like Mumbai, Mahad, Ratnagiri, Panaji (Panjim), Margao, Karwar, Kumta, Bhatkal, Udupi, Surathkal, Mangalore, Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikkode and Kochi as well as major sea ports like Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugoa, New Mangalore (NMPT) and Cochin.