Covid pandemic weighs down floating jetties

The Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the completion of the first phase of the floating jetties, with just one of the four floating jetties being commissioned till date. The pandemic and the subsequent austerity measures imposed by the state government have also brought construction of the captain of ports terminal to a halt, officials said.

In the first phase, three more floating jetties – near Campal, at Old Goa and along Chapora village — were to be installed and commissioned by June.

“In the first phase, four jetties were planned but because of the pandemic, things got delayed. We are trying to get the jetties commissioned in another four to five months,” a government official said.

All four jetties, funded by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), were to be installed at Rs 10 crore by the contractor, REL Marintek Infra Pvt Ltd. The first concrete floating jetty, and the first in the country, was inaugurated by Union minister of state for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya in February. At that time, Mandaviya and state authorities said the remaining floating jetties would be installed in four months.

The pandemic has had a severe impact on infrastructure projects in the state as most of the labourers left the state and returned home. The sharp fall in tax revenue also affected the state, forcing chief minister Pramod Sawant to bring in austerity measures.

“Sanctioning of funds for the building is on hold for now. We had almost finished piling and if we had done 30% more, we could have started work on the structure,” the official said.

The delay in completion of the terminal building will lead to a revision in the contract terms, particularly cost escalation. “A lot of things have come to a grinding halt because of the money issue,” the official said, pointing out that funds for maintenance dredging in river Sal had yet to be disbursed even though the tender has been floated and contractor selected.