Goa’s state capital Panjim is one of the best places to live it. Take it from someone who lives there. It’s a picturesque city that has changed and continues to do so over the years. The city is a coastal one with the Mandovi river running through it and flowing out into the shimmering Arabian sea. Panjim is a city with terraced hills, churches, and a riverside promenade. Old Goan houses share space with concrete buildings with balconies and red-tiled roofs. There are avenues lined with Gulmohar, Acacia, and other trees. The Baroque Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is located overlooking the main square known as Praça da Igreja. Panjim has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission. And yesterday, 22nd March 2018, Panjim turned 175 years old.
But, there is also a dark side to the city. In the last 20 years or so, it has taken what seems to be a turn for the worse. It is lacking in infrastructure, with roads being a nightmare to drive on in certain localities. Traffic is also bad with motorists having little or no regard for their safety or that of others. The casino culture has taken over, leading to hordes of tourists coming to Goa no matter what season it is. All this and so much more are a major cause for concern. And these are strictly the observations of a local.
Taken from the local newspapers, a few well-known Goans talked about growing up in the city and what they would like to see as the city progresses.
Voices of Panjim city
Panjim remains very dear to me. I belong to Panjim and Panjim belongs to me. It used to be better but now it’s getting worse by the month. The footpaths are cracked and in bits and the Panjim gardens have no flowers. Panjim exists only for the casinos. Architectural heritage that was built prior to 1960s is still well maintained. Post that, Kala Academy is the only structure that is world class in Panjim. Trees are our lungs and there is still a green expanse over Altinho. – VASCO PINHO, historian
This is our history and heritage. Congratulations to all us Panjekars. Today our beautiful city Panaji completes 175 years as the fourth historic capital of Goa as today in history on March 22, 1843, Queen Donna Maria the Second officially declared Panjim as the capital of Goa. Panaji is not 175 years old, just the naming of the city as the capital of Goa is 175 years. Our Panaji always existed historically since the Kadamb era. We have 11th-century Kadamb Era inscription to prove that. There are many historic artifacts such as the Tonca Pillar of November 3, 1859, that are part of my heritage walks for my history students. – PRAJAL SAKHARDANDE, professor
I have lived in Panjim for over 37 years and I love the areas of Fontainhas and the riverfront of Campal. The heart of Panjim is the central zone, which spans from Adil Shah’s Palace that was also the first Legislative Assembly in the state, to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, covering many old establishments. Parking is a menace that has to be attended to at the earliest and even the system of garbage collection has to be improved. – DR CELSA PINTO, historian, and researcher of Panjim
Besides these esteemed individuals, people came out to voice their opinions and concerns on social media as well. Check out more in the Herald article.
Information credit – Herald