A month ago, a joint decision was taken by a number of government agencies, to close Panjim’s iconic Dona Paula Jetty. This decision was taken after a structural analysis of the entire jetty was done. The report showed that it was unstable and would need to be closed for repairs. A final decision was to be taken by the Revenue Department.
According to government officials, the involvement of multiple government agencies and lack of clarity over the action plan after the jetty’s closure are what caused the matter to be referred to the state.
“Many government departments are involved and there are issues about who will take up the repairs (of the jetty) and how it will be taken up,” a government official said choosing to remain anonymous.
The closure of an iconic tourist spot
The Dona Paula jetty has been around for generations. It is known to locals and tourists alike and people visit it all year round, even during the monsoons despite knowing that it is dangerous. People from far and wide have even heard the famous legend of Dona Paula and still never seem to tire of hearing it. The jetty used to be one of the most beautiful spots in Panjim, with a view of the open sea in front and the Mormugao harbor and Zuari river to the right.
There are also a number of vendors and small restaurants that line the promenade leading to the jetty
Today, however, the jetty stands in a state of despair and neglect. The railings have corroded and are broken in many places, posing a threat to visitors. There are no working lamps. Even the struts and pillars under the promenade are corroded. It was only a matter of time before the entire area was officially declared unstable for public access.
Dona Paula jetty closure could result in vendors and restauranteurs losing business
According to an article in the Herald newspaper, all the vendors and restaurant owners in the locality are in a state of panic and shock. They are extremely apprehensive as to how this closure is going to affect their livelihoods.
Herald reporters even spoke to some of these vendors and here’s what they had to say.
“I was shocked to hear the news that this jetty would be closed for repairs. If the jetty is closed none of the tourists will come here and due to this we would lose our business and there is will be loss of livelihood as we all here are dependent on this small business. If the authorities are closing this place they should either relocate us to another place or the repairs should be done in phases” said Gopal Gaude, a vendor who sells sunglasses to tourists in the area.
Another vendor who sells lime soda in the same area said “We have been running this business for the last many years and if the jetty closes how will we survive. The government should think about us and our families, either they should relocate us to some other tourist spot until the jetty is repaired. I do not know how much time we have as we have not received any formal letter that we should vacate this place.”
First the vendors and now the restaurant owners
It’s not just the street vendors that are worried. Even restaurant owners like Karan Rokha of Karan’s Multi Cuisine Restaurant and Bar have opinions. As Karan said, “I had just recently started this restaurant on rent basis. If the jetty is closed there will be no tourists coming to this spot and my restaurant business will be severely affected. Along with the rent, we have to also pay salaries to my staff, how it will be possible. I think the government should construct the jetty in phases so that tourists keep coming”.
Similarly, another businessman, Om Prakash Dwivedi who runs Hari Om Arts and Crafts store at the jetty said that it will be a massive loss for him if the jetty faces closure.
Information credit – Herald