2 breakdowns break down NH 17 traffic for nearly 4 hrs

Goa learned first hand just what happens when the chief North-South connect of NH 17 via the Zuari bridge shut down on Saturday evening.

Traffic came to a grinding halt from 4.30pm to almost 8pm after a truck and a bus broke down within minutes of each other between Cortalim circle and Zuari bridge. The traffic queues were over 4km long in three different directions-Cortalim-Kesarval, Cortalim-Sancoale and Cortalim-Pilar.

The last queue probably saw people miss their trains and flights, the latter especially, as this is the main route to get to the Dabolim airport from North Goa. Some among the hundreds caught in the jam said ambulances were also stuck in the queues, and office goers told STOI that they had a nightmare reaching home or to work.

"A truck broke down first and then a big KTC bus also failed," Sudesh Narvekar, PI (Traffic), Vasco told STOI. The loaded truck was travelling from Sancoale. As the traffic police tried to get the truck off the road and about 20 minutes into the breakdown, a KTC bus, also travelling from Vasco, broke down in between the Cortalim circle and Zuari bridge. Given that this is a narrow two-laner leading up to the Zuari bridge, the already gathering traffic had little option but to stay put.

Queues were seen in South Goa from Kesarval garden near the Verna industrial estate and Sancoale near Vasco. The northern district saw the jam up to Pilar.

The truck was finally removed by the traffic police's crane, while the KTC bus was pulled to the side of the road and was being repaired by Kadamba transport mechanice.

Police teams from Verna and Agassaim helped to divert the traffic, but it still took commuters a minimum of an hour to cover a less than 4km dis [TOI]