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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Goa considers dropping China firm from Rs 1,400-crore bridge project

The bridge — a prestige project for the BJP-led government — is slated to be named after late chief minister Manohar Parrikar. It is being built by Dilip Buildcon with Shanghai Tonggang Bridge Technology providing expertise on several aspects as well as materials.

By: Express News Service | Panaji | Published: June 23, 2020 1:44:17 am
Pramod Sawant, Goa bridge projectm china investment goa bridge project ,India-China stand-off, Line of Actual Control India china, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. (File Photo)

The Goa government is considering dropping a Chinese consultancy firm from a Rs 1,400 crore eight-lane bridge construction project across the Zuari river in south Goa, officials said on Monday.

The bridge — a prestige project for the BJP-led government — is slated to be named after late chief minister Manohar Parrikar. It is being built by Dilip Buildcon with Shanghai Tonggang Bridge Technology providing expertise on several aspects as well as materials.

Public Works Department Minister Deepak Pauskar on Monday said they will have to re-examine their import policies and need for expertise in light of the standoff. Materials needed for the bridge are presently being imported from China.

“They (Chinese consultants) are expected to arrive as they are supposed to be the experts who are to examine parts of the work. Further, the remaining 35% of the bridge requires material, which for now was to be imported from China,” said Pauskar.

“We will be speaking to the Chief Minister on this for instructions. The development in our construction is obviously due to the betrayal by the Chinese army, and the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have decided to ban their products,” he said. “We will then have to source materials and expertise from elsewhere.”

Sources confirmed that the construction would run past its 2019 deadline. They said the PWD is also facing labour issues as many have left the state in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to PWD officials, while many labourers have remained in place on specific projects, the state is feeling the pressure on meeting deadlines because of an overall lack of manpower.

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