City gardens being restored to former glory


The city of Panaji which boasts of around a dozen large and small gardens and parks, will finally see all its gardens being restored to their past glory, duly followed by their maintenance.
The commissioner of the City of Panaji, Mr Sanjith Rodrigues told ‘The Navhind Times’ that presently the Mermaid garden near the Panaji Residency and the Salvador Souza garden, situated opposite Geeta Bakery are being beautified by the Corporation of the City of Panaji and the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation. “It is a part of city beautification,” he said.
It may be recalled that the Garcia da Orta garden, more popularly known as the Panaji Municipal garden, located near the Church Square was given a facelift by the CCP at an estimated cost of Rs 2.5 crore, recently. One of the largest gardens in the city, the Garcia da Orta is spread over an area of 10,000 sq mt. Similarly, the Menezes Braganza garden near the city Collectorate office has also been provided with landscaping including new lawn.
Speaking further, the CCP commissioner said that except for the mermaid statue in the Mermaid garden, the entire landscaping, electrical work and planting of flora has been done by the GSIDC in consultation with the CCP. The restored Mermaid garden will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on December 19.
On the other hand, the Salvador Souza garden is in the process of being beautified, with an attractive fountain illuminated with coloured lights installed at its centre. The landscaping, including laying of a lawn for this garden is in progress.  
Mr Rodrigues informed that due care is being taken to maintain all the city gardens after their beautification. “We may even go for private sponsorship for the maintenance purpose,” he added.
Interestingly, the CCP had presented a proposal under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, wherein a project worth Rs 18.77 crore, included renewal of parks and gardens among other things. Unfortunately, the same was rejected by the Union Ministry of Urban Development stating that it is ‘not a priority project.’ The CCP commissioner informed that government funds were used for the two gardens, which have been restored and beautified recently, and had nothing to do with the JNNURM funds. 
The Mahavir Garden (erstwhile Children’s Park and the Francis Luis Gomes Park, Campal, may now very well be on the CCP block for their renovation and beautification. [NT]