Goa CM announces construction of modern bus stand at Margao – ET Infra


MARGAO: After chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday announced the government’s plan to begin construction of a modern bus stand at Margao, questions have surfaced if it’s a revival of sorts of the “ultra-modern transport hub,” a project conceived over 12 years ago, or if it’s a downgrade of the earlier plan.

The foundation stone for the “ultra-modern transport hub” was laid in October 2011 by then chief minister Digambar Kamat when the ruling Congress government was on a foundation stone-laying spree ahead of the 2012 assembly elections.

While the project failed to take off then, what’s ironic is the announcement of the project’s revival by Sawant in the presence of Kamat himself, who defected to BJP last year soon after winning the 2022 polls from Margao on a Congress ticket. Kamat had laid the foundation stone for the transport hub in 2011 when the project envisaged to house, besides a modern bus stand, a mall, a hotel block, a corporate block for commercial space, parking facilities, etc. spread over 16 acres of land.

However, with Congress losing the 2012 elections, the BJP government that came to office had other priorities and the project was grounded. Though the BJP government initiated the project during its second term, the project failed to be counted among the government’s priorities.

Some four years ago during the stint of Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai as the minister for town and country planning (TCP), the Goa state infrastructure development corporation (GSIDC) moved the file to the TCP department for its approval, after which tenders for the Rs 350 crore project were to be invited. While former chief minister Manohar Parrikar had given his approval for the project, the proposal hit a roadblock following his demise in 2019.

At that point Sardesai also held a meeting with taxi drivers, rickshaw owners, motorcycle pilots, bus owners and gadda owners in Margao, to consider their inputs for the project. Though the meeting was said to be the first of a series of meetings with stakeholders, the consultative process failed to make any headway and stayed put.

With no details about the revised project being made public by the government, Sardesai has demanded to know if its revival is “an extension of Kamat’s old thought” or Sawant’s altogether new plan. “The bus stand lies in Madel in my constituency,” Sardesai told reporters on Wednesday.

“I only hope the plan isn’t sabotaged once again.”

  • Published On May 22, 2023 at 12:48 PM IST

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