Panaji, Sep 21 (IANS) The opposition in Goa on Saturday demanded a CBI and vigilance department probe into the monies spent on building and maintenance of roads in the state, which have come under criticism during the monsoon season for being pothole-ridden and in poor shape.
While the Congress demanded a vigilance department probe on the Rs 6,000 crore spent on building and maintaining the state’s roads over the last five years, Goa Forward, another opposition party has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the expenditure.
“The Government of Goa needs to step up action, so that fatalities including loss of life is prevented on account of bad condition of roads. As Chief Minister of Goa you have time-and-again reinforced your commitment for corruption-free governance,” state Congress chief Girish Chodankar said in his letter to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
“In view of the above, you are hereby called upon to conduct a vigilance inquiry into the allegations floating on corruption in Public Works Department and inquiring into all road works tendered and executed during last five years,” Chodankar also said, adding that the enquiry should be time-bound.
Goa Forward president and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai also demanded a criminal probe over expenditure incurred on upkeep of roads.
“The CBI should be brought in to probe the money spent on road infrastructure,” Sardesai said.
Goa’s potholed roads have come under severe scrutiny this year, when the state witnessed its highest rainfall in nearly a decade, at 151 inches. The potholes on the roads also inspired a music video which went viral earlier this week, embarrassing the government.
Public Works Department Minister Deepak Pauskar has already started a Whatsapp-based helpline, as a social media outreach to the general public, who have been requested to inform his department about specific potholes in their locality via photographs and GPS location.
In 10 days since the helpline was launched, the PWD has received as many as 2,500 photos in form of complaints from the general public.