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Improper, uncleared shoulders on NH 66 at Mastimoll poses danger to pedestrians

Canacona: Frequent pleas and requests for proper shoulders, besides clearing the unwanted growth obstructing motorists’ view on National Highway 66 (earlier NH17) between Mastimoll to Charrasta in Canacona taluka have fallen on deaf ears.And despite several representations and reminders, the shoulders are still uneven and covered with bushes and at some places missing cement slabs over the drains, making it dangerous for pedestrians walking on the road.The stretch of national highway from Polem to Balli is narrow and riddled with blind curves, due to which motor vehicles are frequently involved in accidents here.What’s more, many educational institutes are also located close to the national highway, leading to traffic chaos during opening and closing of school hours.Perhaps the most worrying aspect for parents, who use the road every day, is the unkept shoulders on the national highway between police station and KTC bus stand.
Parents of the students studying in the three educational institutes located at Mastimoll have voiced their concern over their safety on the road here, as they have to walk the distance to catch a bus on the carpeted portion of the road.
I have pointed out and written letters in the past to the local PWD office highlighting the danger faced by the students when they have to walk on the road due to non-maintenance of the shoulders, which are full of unwanted thorny bushes, at some places the cement slabs on the drains are also missing, said Diogo Da’ Silva a social activist.Sometimes the students throw caution to the winds and are seen walking in groups across the road on the dangerous portion of the road. In case of brake failure or human error there could be a major tragedy, he added.When this correspondent spoke to the PWD official responsible for the upkeep and safety on the national highway, they responded saying instructions have been issued to clear the unwanted growth and make efforts to cover the shoulders with soil.The ex-chairperson of Canacona municipality Ajay Bhagat, suggested that the entire stretch of shoulders from Mastimoll to Charrasta should be paved with cement pavers, as lot of people are using it and in absence of a walking track in the town this can be also used for walking by locals. [H]

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