Herald: When a bridge became a stage

When a bridge became a stage

08 Feb 2019 04:05am IST
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08 Feb 2019 04:05am IST
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Selfie point? Go to place? Place to be seen in? Backdrop for Facebook posts. The spanking new Atal Sethu was all of that, but sadly with graffiti and littering too, before the walkers left giving way to vehicles

India’s third largest cable-stayed Bridge Atal Sethu became one of the hottest visiting spots in Goa after the inauguration. Till the time the bridge was open to vehicular traffic, the bridge became a stage , from kids doing karate, to selfie queens, to walkers. So much so that if you were not ‘ON’ the bridge you were not ‘IN’.

 Expressing their affection towards the grandeur, people have admitted viewing 3D visions from the bridge and gleaming lights after dark. People were seen flocking to the structure to get a chance for a peaceful walk and a glimpse from high above. Schools, groups and organizations conducted walks over the bridge. Children were seen playing games, practicing karate and involved in other activities. Crowds of people thrilling in excitement posted pictures and videos on social media. The memorable event turned the bridge into a stage for the week.  

 However, there was an ugly side to the enthusiasm too. In the first week after the inauguration, littering and graffiti scribbling on the bridge embarked a new identity to the bridge.

  Trusha Panvelkar, striving to keep Goa clean through her posts on face book and motivating people expresses her views, “Atal Sethu, is a gift to the people of Goa. Any gift is to be protected and preserved for us and for the people of Goa. Our Society needs to learn to preserve our monuments. Don’t we all have a personal responsibility to keep Goa clean? No one wants to know anyone’s true love declarations on public property.” 

 Amandeep Kaur, a Hotel management student shares her thoughts on the same, “I can understand how much hard work and dedication was put into making the bridge for our use, but it is sad to see that before the bridge was even in use for the traffic people had already scribbled and made it dirty” 

Amidst all the cons, there still lies hope for Goans to treat the new bridge with esteemed respect as it sits across the Mandovi imaging a lit Backdrop for Panjim. As the bridge is now open to transport, people can no longer walk passed the bridge. Soon enough the first footsteps of Goans on the Atal Sethu will be recorded on pages of the history books.
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