On Goa’s new Zuari bridge, which Union minister Nitin Gadkari will officially open on December 29, a sizable crowd of revelers gathered while the old bridge, which runs next to it, had a severe traffic gridlock. On Monday evening on the old bridge, traffic came to a complete halt for more than three hours, trapping dozens of vehicles, many of which were transporting passengers to the Dabolim Airport.
In contrast, hundreds of people thronged the new Zuari bridge at the same time to click selfies and have a first-hand experience of the cable-stayed structure. Local performers were also seen singing with their bands on it.
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Goa NRI Commissioner Narendra Sawaikar was among the visitors to the new bridge. Sawaikar tweeted, “Visited the amazing, panaromic New Zuari Bridge to be inaugurated on 29th December. Conceived & gifted by late Manoharbhai Parrikar under the leadership of Hon. PM Shri. @narendramodi Ji & Union Minister Shri. @nitin_gadkari Ji.”
Zuari bridge is an important link between North and South Goa. A senior police official said lakhs of people have arrived in the coastal state to celebrate the New Year, adding to the number of vehicles on the road and worsening the situation.
“The traffic jam began in the afternoon and continued till late evening. Some cars which were stuck in the jam at 7 pm continued crawling till 11 pm. Thousands of vehicles were seen on the old Zuari bridge and the roads leading to it,” he said.
Reacting to the traffic jam, Aam Aadmi Party’s Goa MLA Venzy Viegas tweeted, ?In 1983, commuters suffered while @INCGoa Govt waited for PM Indira Gandhi to find time to inaugurate the 1st Zuari bridge. History repeats itself with @BJP4Goa & new Zuari bridge. Is there anyone in Goa with the guts of @TheKiranBedi who defiantly threw the bridge open then.”
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had announced that the new bridge would be inaugurated on December 29 by Union minister Nitin Gadkari. He had said people could walk on the new structure and admire it before its inauguration.
Goa Forward Party General Secretary Durgadas Kamat in a tweet on Tuesday said even a tea stall using an electric connection was installed on the new bridge. He raised questions over the decision of a company which constructed the bridge to allow the tea stall to operate before the inauguration.
With PTI inputs