PANAJI: Up to 80 dilapidated Portuguese-era bridges in Goa will be repaired immediately, the public works department minister of the coastal state said today — a year after two people died when a bridge collapsed in Goa.
After the incident in May last year, the state government started checking the health of all Portuguese-era bridges for repairs.
“We have identified 80 bridges, most of them small culverts, which are in a dilapidated condition,” Goa public works department minister Sudin Dhavalikar told reporters in Panaji, 15 kilometres from the beaches in Calangute popular among tourists.
All the bridges tagged for repairs are in North Goa, he said.
A similar check of old bridges in South Goa is yet to be done. The bridge that collapsed last year stood over South Goa’s Sanvordem river. Some 50 people were standing on the bridge and watching a man, who jumped into the river allegedly to commit suicide, being rescued when the bridge suddenly collapsed.
“It will take one more year to complete the audit of all bridges in the state,” Mr Dhavalikar said.
The bridges found to be in a bad condition would either be reconstructed or repaired immediately, he said. “We are conducting an audit of all the bridges that are more than 30 years old.”
The Goa government last week also started drafting a policy to conserve and protect Portuguese-era structures. State town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai chaired a meeting of the conservation committee formed by his department to discuss the issue.
He said a comprehensive policy would be tabled during the next session of the assembly. Mr Sardesai said the policy will also decide on giving funds to repair the structures.