Goa prepares for Francis Xavier exposition


The 44-day exposition of the relics of St Francis Xavier beginning on November 22.



The Public Work Department of Goa has drawn up an infrastructure plan to manage the half-a-million pilgrims expected for the 44-day exposition of the relics of St Francis Xavier beginning on November 22.

A new link road, six parking lots, three camps for pilgrims, water supply, public toilets, fire tenders and garbage collection points, signages and high-tech lighting are all part of the plan that will be executed by the PWD and to some extent by the Goa state infrastructure development corporation (GSIDC).

Unlike during previous expositions, this time the traffic from Panaji to Ponda and vice versa will not be allowed in the area around Se Cathedral or Basilica of Bom Jesus. A new 6-metre wide road will branch out from the existing Panaji-Ponda road towards the riverfront near the Dempo shipbuilding yard and connect to the road near the Divar ferry point. All Ponda-Panaji traffic will be diverted along this route.

Three camps are planned for pilgrims along the riverfront and very close to the Se Cathedral, where the exposition is actually planned. Officials are wiser from the experience of the previous exposition. Then, the pilgrim-camps were put up near the helipad near Dauji. The camps did not find favour with the pilgrims because they were far from the Se Cathedral.

The three camps will house around 750 pilgrims. The camps will have toilet facilities and a dining hall. But pilgrims will not be allowed to cook due to fire hazard. But sources said that the church will run canteens in these camps through its volunteers.

But for the traditional pilgrims who camp in the cloisters of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a special toilet block and a cooking shed will be built.

Six parking lots will be arranged all around the church complex. One of the biggest parking lots will be at the usual site adjacent the Dempo shipbuilding yard for vehicles coming from Panaji-side. A parking lot for the differently-abled is also planned.

Almost 90 chemical toilets will be put up all around the place but the GSIDC will build four new, permanent toilet blocks at various points of the Old Goa complex. Besides, there are fire tender points at six places and almost 100 firemen will be on duty at the site daily.

Garbage collection and segregation points have also been identified.

The fair stalls are all planned around the Gandhi circle and most will be along the road leading from the Gandhi circle to the Divar ferry point.

The entire aspect of security is being handled by the Goa police department. But it is learnt that at least 100 CCTV cameras will be installed at various places around the church complex.

At dusk, the place will bask in the glow of aesthetically-planned high-tech lighting.

Source: Times of India


1 Comment

  1. September 4, 2014 at 8:02 am

    After cashing in on the Catholic aspect of Goa’s heritage– beware you silly Goans– it’s back to the Hindu nation philosophy — BEWARE !!! It is only the tourist revenue that is making them invest in all this infrastructure — BEWARE !!!!!


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