Goa: Concerns Raised Over Portuguese Era Papers Stored In MMC's 'Dingy Room'

Goa: Concerns Raised Over Portuguese Era Papers Stored In MMC's 'Dingy Room'

Citizens call to protect documents in proper manner or digitize for posterity.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Friday, January 05, 2024, 10:10 PM IST
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The Goan Portuguese

Margao: Before the functions of the Margao Municipality were restricted to the city in the post-Liberation period, the Camara Municipal de Salcete had been the seat of power of entire Salcete during Portuguese era.

Important documents such as births and deaths, besides construction plans of houses and buildings of entire Salcete were all once housed in the heritage building. While the office of Sub-Registrar is now playing host to the old birth and death documents, questions are being raised in certain quarters over the fate of the construction plans and licences issued by the Camara Municipal de Salcete during the Portuguese era.

Questions pertaining to the Portuguese era documents come to the fore

Indeed, a host of questions have come to the fore – whether these crucial old documents pertaining to construction plans are still maintained by the Margao Municipality till date? Whether people from Salcete can expect to receive a copy of these documents from the civic body? And, whether the civic body has conducted an inventory of the records left behind by the Municipal building.

Well, The Goan visited the heritage Margao Municipal building to find out the status of the old documents, and whether these documents are maintained in a proper manner as per the laid down norms, only to find a small room located on the ground floor of the heritage building housing the Portuguese era documents of Salcete, comprising mostly of construction plans.

A lone staffer was found manning the records in the small room, while an iron ladder took one to the wooden mezzanine floor, where some of the documents have been stacked in the racks.

If sources are to be believed, the documents left behind in the Municipal building after the jurisdiction of the Camara Municipal de Salcete was restricted to the Margao civic area are still available in the dingy room. However, the records are not placed in order over the years as a result of which one may not find the documents year-wise.

Are the portuguese era papers relevant today?

But, are these documents pertaining to construction plans any relevance to the people of Salcete anymore post-Liberation era? Well, Navelim resident, Prof Antonio Alvares replied with a firm yes, saying that these documents come in handy in legal disputes pertaining to houses and encroachments. “I had visited the Margao Municipal building with a friend of mine with the hope of laying hands to an old construction plan. Sadly, we have been told that the construction plans of the Portuguese era period is not available in the office,” Alvares said.

He added: “I fail to understand how come the old construction plans of people during the Portuguese era cannot be found in the MMC building. These documents come in handy in times of legal disputes. Even otherwise, is it not the responsibility of the Municipal body to preserve and protect the documents from getting destroyed for lack of maintenance?”

Seeking government intervention to save the old documents from doing a vanishing act from the Municipality, Alvares suggested that either the Margao Municipality protect the documents in a proper manner or the government should digitise them for posterity.

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