Centre to support upcoming Mumbai-Goa bridge project

Panaji: Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said his Ministry will bear 50 per cent of the cost of an upcoming Rs 860 crore bridge across the Mandovi river near Panaji.

The Goa government is facing a cash crunch, and following a personal request from Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, the Central government decided to bear a part of the expenses.

Gadkari, who was in Goa to inspect ongoing work at the multi-span beam bridge, also said the Mumbai-Goa highway project would be completed before March next year. “The effort is to inaugurate it before March next year,” he said.

The Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping said Parrikar had initially requested him to allow the BJP-led Goa government to build the National Highway bridge by assuring him that the state would fund the structure, instead of the central authorities.

“I asked him not to do it as the liability will increase. Parrikar had said he will figure it out,” Gadkari said at a function here.

The Minister further said that some months ago, Parrikar met him again and requested his Ministry to fund 50 per cent of the cost towards the bridge as the state was suffering from financial difficulties, to which the Central Ministry officials objected.

“But because of Parrikar’s insistence, we have overruled the department and the Central government has now decided to fund 50 per cent of the expense for the bridge,” Gadkari said.