MURDER OF PANAJI: Courtesy the Monseratte family aka father Atanasio Babush Monserrate, Goa’s Revenue Minister who appointed son Rohit Monserrate as mayor of capital smart city Panaji…. and this is the result! Or should we say the Monserrates have raped Panaji city as both allegedly have rape charges pending against them? This is only a section of the Menezes Braganza road which has made life hell for residents here because the road contractor has not left any access ways.

By Rajan Narayan

Rohit Monserrate is the destroyer of Panaji city. He has converted the heart of the city stretching from Tonca to St Inez, to Azad Maidan to a permanent NoMoZo. Only there is no fest and other activities which are part of no vehicle zone. Citizens should dig up the road with bulldozers outside and around the many residences of Babush Monserrate and family to teach the Monserrate family dynasty an unforgettable lesson.

ROHIT Monserrate is the dumbest Mayor Panaji city has ever had. Rohit has not inherited any of the talents or skills of his father Babush Monserrate. Babush has the reputation of having built some of the best roads in Panaji city. The best example is the road connecting the inner Miramar Dona Paula road to Taleigao near Babush’s residence.
Similarly, many of the inner roads in Taleigao have been widened and new roads have been created. Babush’s motive for building a great network of roads in Taleigao is to create access for real estate developers to build their buildings. The entire Dempo housing complex which occupies an entire side of the Taleigao road popularly called the “Babush road” would not have been possible without the broadening of the road. Babush did it very fast as unlike the PWD and National Highway Authority he does need to seek permission to acquire land, just dadagiri is enough for Babush to take over all the additional land he needs for his purpose.

PERHAPS there is no money to be made in widening and strengthening the roads in Panaji city. There is no scope for new buildings in the already overcrowded Panaji city. The curse of Panaji is its inclusion in the Central Scheme for smart cities. The heavy engineering machinery being used around the smart city currently is destroying the existing roads in Panaji. So far at five key places in Panaji city, the existing roads have sunk. In some places, such wide craters have been created that sewage suction trucks and water tankers have fallen into the holes created because of the collapse of roads under the haphazard planning of the contractor.
Amongst the worst places affected are St Inez road, 18 June road and the road near Azad Maidan which is memorial maidan or commons defining Panaji. Then there is the Atmaram Borkar road the junction linking Panaji Municipal to Bombay Bazar.
To create smart city as a model city the good roads that Portuguese-time PWD engineers designed have been destroyed. I have never known of any major inside road like the road near Azad Maidan sinking — in the 50 years I have been in Goa.
Similarly, the St Inez road may develop potholes but has never caved in. Today’s smart city Panaji has been converted into another Joshimath. Incidentally, Joshimath is facing a fresh crisis as a huge quantity of underground water has started flooding the mountain town and washing away old traditional routes to the important pilgrimage temples.

HERE in Goa the whole of capital city has become a forced No-Mo-Zo (no motor vehicles zone). Last week, Porvorim observed a NoMoZo Day and during this time a side road off the highway turned into a free for all zone after all traffic was barred from using it. The zone was turned a public festival with adults and children strolling, pop-up snack points, music in the air, some taking to skating or taking the dogs and cats for a walk, local residents socializing and wishing their MLA Rohan Khaunte extended birthday greetings in person. It was all part of the popular politician’s public birthday celebration.
But in the case of Panaji we have no celebrations worth going to socialize with, let alone the Monserrate family in power. There is only cursing, screaming, shouting of abusive gaali from Ponjekars for whom it has become a daily fight on the roads to get anywhere.
Every main road from Tonca road, St Inez road, 18 June road, Azad Maidan road, and Atmaram Borkar road have been dug off royally. The entrance to Junta House which houses many major government offices is in a mess of blockages. It has become more dangerous to ride a bike in Panaji city than take part in a bullfight.
As far as four-wheelers are concerned they take twice and thrice the time to get to their destination. The latest shocker is that Dayanand Bandodkar Marg road which takes one to the bus-stand at Dona Paula has developed cracks – referring to the Miramar beach-Dona Paula stretch which was re-built a year ago. Incidentally, the road was repaired by Dilip Buildcon who built the Zuari Bridge which witnessed its first fatal accident, recently.
THE worst part of it is that our so-called smart city is not expected to be ready fully for another six months. Under the Smart Scheme existing roads are supposed to be widened and resurfaced. Amongst major problems is the long pending cleaning up and streamlining of the St Inez Creek (now degenerated to stinking, garbage and sewage laden gutter or nallah).

PANAJI, has been now divided into two parts. The stretch from Miramar to Dona Paula is relatively unmolested. The rest of Panaji is Joshimath which is sinking and will soon have more craters than any road fit to be called a road. Rohit Monserrate is not fit to be even a Class IV employee of the CCP let alone the mayor of the city. Other councilors should get together and vote Rohit Monserrate out quickly if they can in the long term interests of capital city Panaji.

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