Some of those using Zuari Bridge on a daily basis will never forget December 5, 2022. The reason being that many remained stranded for six long painful hours due to a massive traffic jam on the Verna-Agassaim stretch on Monday due to an accident on the Zuari Bridge.
The Vasco traffic cell managed to clear the traffic jam only at 1.15 pm. The line of vehicles started building from 7.15 am when a car and a tempo collided on the bridge.
It was a bad day for hundreds of commuters starting their week. Social media platforms were flooded with angry reactions from the commuters who were caught in this jam. Many public and private company employees had to apply for half-day leave and some decided to call it a day.
Hegel Diniz, a commuter at Pazentar, Cortalim, sounded angry and frustrated. She was supposed to attend a funeral in North Goa, but due to the traffic jam, she had to cancel the trip and go back.
Heramb Harmalkar, an engineering college student, said that he was late to college and as a result missed important lectures. He questioned, "Why can't people drive their vehicles carefully? Don't they understand the value of life and time?"
Cuncolim MLA Yuri Alemao said the unnecessary placement of barricades resulted in slow movement of vehicles. Policemen deployed at the area were clueless about traffic management, and also the absence of signages was the cause of massive traffic jams at Cortalim.
Releasing three videos of the Cortalim traffic jam today, Alemao tried to showcase the complete mess at the junction.
Alexandre Moniz Barbosa, a Goan writer who was travelling to Panjim along with his family from his native place, found the wait very painful. The afternoon heat made the situation worse for many people stuck in this jam.
Alexandre said, "Accidents will happen. It is how fast they are cleared that matters. If the accident involves large vehicles, one can understand long delays, if not it points to a lack of traffic management by the police."
He further said, "Today, from the Kesarval slope up to the Sancoale junction, there were no cops, leading to two-wheelers creating more congestion by jumping queues and overtaking from the wrong side."
Commenting on the traffic congestion, PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral said that he was monitoring the new Zuari Bridge work on a day-to-day basis.
"We have promised the people that the new Zuari Bridge will be made operational for traffic in December. Due to the accident and the time taken to clear it, more vehicles queued up, and this led to a massive traffic jam," Cabral added.
Later, a Vasco traffic cell source said the car was moving towards Panjim and the tempo driver was coming from Panjim at the time of the accident. This collision happened at the spot where in August a Renault SUV car plunge into the Zuari River killing all four passengers.
A source said that the impact of the collision was such that the front wheels of both the vehicles were locked, and they got stuck in the middle of the road blocking the traffic movement from both the sides of the old Zuari Bridge during peak hours.
The source explained that on average 70 vehicles per minute travel on the Zuari Bridge, and if there is an accident, a traffic jam is inevitable.