Tourist buses continue to clog Panaji

The authorities appear to have learnt no lesson at all from last week’s manic Friday where the National Highway was jammed due to the haphazard management of traffic.

Despite a clear ban on wide-bodied buses and trucks in the city, and the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) erecting signboards, the police continue to turn a blind eye.

Goa police’s on-off traffic management and crackdown on errant drivers has allowed tourist buses, many of them from Maharashtra and Gujarat, to not only enter the city, but also park along its arterial roads such as D B Road and the Miramar-Dona Paula road.

The North Goa district collector had issued a notification in May 2015 preventing heavy vehicles and medium transport vehicles from entering or parking within CCP jurisdiction during the day, between 7am and 9pm.

The government had also urged the CCP to erect a signboard to inform outstation buses and trucks.

“I do not blame the police. There should be a crackdown on the tourist buses, but to have a crackdown, the police should have much-needed personnel. The government should be blamed,” CCP mayor Surendra Furtado said.

 According to the ban notice, heavy vehicles are not permitted into the city from the Patto bridge, Four Pillars area, Campal and at the St Inez junction.
 So stringent are the curbs that even heavy vehicles carrying essential commodities are prohibited from entering the city during peak school hours. Earlier, police officials argued that the lack of proper signboards was the reason why they were not cracking down on wide-bodied tourist buses.
To make matters worse, several buses were seen choking up the newly built Miramar-Dona Paula concrete road. With vehicles parking on both sides of the concrete road, the four-lane road has turned into a narrow concrete lane.
Despite several attempts, superintendent of police Suman Goyal refused to answer our calls.