Herald: A small bridge on which Big B walked, needs big repairs
Herald News

A small bridge on which Big B walked, needs big repairs

12 May 2017 06:42pm IST

Report by
Devendra Gaonkar Velus

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12 May 2017 06:42pm IST

Report by
Devendra Gaonkar Velus

Velus villagers want the Portuguese-era bridge to be repaired urgently; say it is the identity of the village and was featured in Bollywood blockbuster Saat Hindustani

Just three kilometres away from Valpoi town, at Velus village is a quaint old bridge that dates back to the Portuguese era. For the villagers, this bridge is almost the identity of the village, as they explain it featured in the 1969 film ‘Saat Hindustani’ in which Amitabh Bachchan made his debut.

“My house is near the bridge. My father has told me that Amitabh Bachchan had come here to shoot a movie,” Rama Gaonkar a villager told Herald, as he recalls past conversations with his father.

Almost half the movie, on the struggles of Maria, a satyagrahi, and 6 men to ‘liberate’ Goa from the Portuguese was shot in Goa, of which one scene was shot on the Velus bridge.  It still carries the weight of thousands of vehicles daily, and leading to calls for its maintenance.

“The village bridge is of the Portuguese era and the bridge is the identity of our village. So now the government has to repair it with modern techniques,” said Madu Gaonkar another villager.

Villager Mahadev Gaonkar said, “Our village bridge is over a hundred years old. Now the Valpoi Municipal Council has to maintain the bridge.”

The bridge is simple in architecture and significantly, it doesn’t have supporting poles.  Thus, standing tall for 100 years is a major achievement. “I have been seeing this bridge right from my childhood . Now I am 70. But this bridge is not getting older,” Kanta Veluskar, a resident of Velus village said.

Valpoi Municipal Council Chairperson Ramdas Shirodkar said, “Two days ago, we held a council meeting on development work of Valpoi Municipal Council area. At that meeting we discussed repairing the Velus village old bridge.”

And it must be repaired. After all a bridge which played a part in a film on Goa’s liberation needs to e free of government delays in a ‘free’ land.

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