12 May 2023  |   06:21am IST

The countdown to the sangtam (catfish) food festival of Panjim starts

The countdown to the sangtam (catfish) food festival of Panjim starts

The monsoon is around the corner and Panjim will soon be floating in different kinds of liquids, excess water, slush and sewage with several things floating around, some of which are delicacies for some species of fish like sangtam (catfish).

Many in Panjim who have been in civic governance or understand the city and its infrastructure have almost certified that Goa’s capital is sitting on a sewage bomb with raw sewage certain to overflow onto the roads and even enter the water pipeline.

With sewage work half-finished and old lines about to crumble, the government has decided to seal and close all the work, in the monsoons. The sewage will have no option but to literally float.

Enough said, and on a lighter note it isn’t all bad news for some species at least. When raw sewage flows, there is so much that floats that will be fit for a food festival for the sea of catfish, organised by the Smart City committee. With choked sewage flowing onto the streets, it will be its floating feast for the sangtams, with their favourite food within their whisker-smacking distance.  Such a movable feast would not have been witnessed in Panjim in its 500-year history.

Panjim: A farm for pigs and a breeding ground for catfish

And with so much well-fed catfish floating around sangtamchem ambotik will indeed be the staple diet for Ponjekars wading through sewage in a dug and devastated city, served with the gravy of corruption. With the city not livable for humans, it would best be used as a farm for pigs and a breeding ground for catfish and assorted consumers of filth.

But do people have the right to complain? 

Well, when there is corruption when voting, can people complain about sewage floating?

This is not true of Panjim but all places where cities and their amenities are crumbling with neglect when old sewage and drainage lines that have functioned smoothly for hundreds of years have been replaced with new infrastructure that needs replacement even before they are installed. When people have not undergone the process of selection with clean hands, can they expect clean systems and systems of governance?

There are two warnings one must issue in the public interest: Please decide if you want to use rods or nets to fish in the sewage. You won’t know what might float in. Secondly, post monsoon, be careful walking on the same roads because the ‘dried’ remains of what floats could still be there. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


Iddhar Udhar