Minister to appoint security agency to man the square from dusk to dawn; Niece of first Goan Bishop of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman objects to renaming of the road, in the name of her uncle to Opinion Poll Square
The Opinion Poll Square was opened on Tuesday with much fanfare led by Goa Forward Supremo and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai, who brought Xaxtikars a space just outside Ravindra Bhavan to hangout and sit back. The Opinion Poll Square is Vijai’s third big initiative in his constituency after providing Fatorda with a new police station and a new post office premise but many have raised their concerns on the maintenance of the Opinion Poll Square.
Fatorda constituency faces flak for ill-maintained Monte Steps, broken benches at the sit out area at Old Survey Office in Borda, garbage at the SGPDA-run market, sewage woes at the Maddel wholesale fish market, the dead palm trees planted at the SGPDA market and also along the Arlem – Chowgule College bypass during the BRICS Conference.
“The initiative is nice but at Fatorda the biggest problem is how these sit out areas become spots for anti-socials and often any sit out area or garden in Fatorda and Borda is misused by alcoholics and those who are involved in drug abuse,” explains Carlton Fernandes, recalling an incident wherein a storage room built at the Nagesh Garden at Borda-Fatorda junction was used by criminals to store weapons until the present councillor Glen Andrade carried out a raid and demolished the shed and later redeveloped the same into a tamarind garden with a sit-out area. But even the redeveloped area is ill-maintained.
“I did think on the security aspect and I am of favour of appointing a security service from 7 pm to maybe 5 am patrolling the place and keeping a tab on security,” said TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai. Vijai said that he will get the MMC to setup a screening committee to allow only food stalls selling authentic Goan food like ras-omelette, bhaji or maybe even sausage bread or cutlet bread and that the committee should ensure a proper waste disposal method for the hawkers. Vijai wants the new square to be a “no vendor/hawker zone” to sell any items besides food. “Even these food stalls, I will ensure are classy, aesthetically built and add design to the Opinion Poll Square,” he said.
While newly-appointed Fatorda PI Navlesh Dessai asserted “We have reduced all hawkers, vendors and illegal food carts in Margao and Fatorda constituencies and have launched a crackdown on hawkers creating a traffic problem”. MMC Dy Chairperson Tito Cardozo who also looks forward to Fatorda having its own municipality said that MMC would maintain the Opinion Poll Square encroachment-free.
Objecting the decision to name the Ravindra Bhavan, Fatorda road from the Borkar Circle till the Mungul Junction after her uncle, the first GoanBishop of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman as Bishop Francisco Xavier de Piedade Rebello Road, former professor Maria Esther Abranches from Modsai said that the renaming of the same as Opinion Poll Square is a bad decision.
“Firstly, a square in Portuguese times in Salcete was a Praca, a space where people could sit and even today a square cannot be a street. The road had an existing name and that too after a prominent man who started over 30 Diocesan-run schools and colleges in Goa and it’s sad that the MLA renamed the road. He could have picked the Fatorda road for beautification and named it as an Opinion Poll Street. It’s disheartening that this has been done,” she added.