ROQUE DIAS | NT
With the schools reopening after the summer break for another academic year, traffic jams are being witnessed in Margao and its peripheries.
The situation prevailing in the town has underscored the dire need for shifting the schools, and the government has rightly asked the education department to speed up the process of setting up an education hub on a land admeasuring 1.5 lakh square metres which is acquired at Davorlim.
The department was working at a snail’s pace over the proposal of setting up an educational hub in Salcete, even though the land was transferred to it some months back.
Nearly 11 main schools are located in Margao with around 10,000 to 12,000 students visiting the town on a daily basis. There are also pre-primary and primary schools, where small children learn their basics, and everyday parents or caretakers drop and pick them.
As most of the school students or their parents use their own mode of transport, traffic jams are the order of the day in Margao.
Because of traffic jams, many a times, the students reach their schools late.
Traffic police inspector Mohan Gaude said that there is a special deployment of policemen at six schools of Margao to regulate traffic during the peak hours.
Gaude said that the arrangement has been done from June 5.
A parent from Borda Suzie Albuquerque said, “What is the use of buying a car if we cannot make use of the vehicle to drop our children to school, especially, during the monsoon. We pay taxes to the government and it is the government’s duty to improve the road infrastructure. We prefer town schools, because it is convenient for us and the quality of education is comparatively good.”
Sources informed that the traffic police had long ago suggested shifting of the schools in order to decongest the town.
However, the school managements had cited paucity of land.
The various school managements had collectively urged the government to give them land, and so the idea of having an educational hub in Salcete on the lines of that formed for the schools in Panaji was conceptualized.
And, so the then government led by Laxmikant Parsekar moved a file, promising the government land at Davorlim for setting up the education hub.
“We had requested the government to give us land to relocate our schools from Margao. We know that we contribute to traffic congestion in the town, but we are helpless. Parents too want their children to be dropped right near the school gates, which further adds to the traffic chaos,” admitted a manager of a school in the town.
District Collectorate sources informed that land at Davorlim has been handed over to the Directorate of Education, after resolving the local issues.
“The land has been handed over to the Directorate of Education four months back, after the need was highlighted,” confirmed Additional Collector Johnson Fernandes.
Though the director of education Gajanan Bhat could not be contacted, reliable sources from the administrative section of the directorate of education said that the demarcation of site has been done at Davorlim, with the officials carrying out the survey.
“The second step would that be of creating infrastructure at the site, which will be done by the GSIDC. Later, an advertisement will be published with the approval of the government announcing the scheme for allotting land for aided schools,” an official said.
He added that it would take another three to four months to complete the process.