Come Republic Day and the refurbished Portuguese-era culvert behind the Bethany Convent at Sao Jose de Areal village will be thrown up for use by pedestrians.
Spruced up with contributions and donations from the residents, locals pointed out that they have not only given a face lift for the culvert, but has preserved the village heritage for posterity.
Thanks to the initiative of the Sao Jose de Areal Villagers Union, the bridge, lying in ruins over the years, has added beauty to the area.
While the culvert has been spruced up with donations from the locals, the Water Resources department (WRD) has helped in strengthening the embankment of the water nallah.
Social activist and Union member Freddy Travasso pointed out that the Union took up the restoration of the Portuguese-era bridge around 2019 with the help of the WRD department. “We had made a letter to the former WRD Minister to help restore the bridge. Since no response was forthcoming from the Minister, the Areal residents then resolved to take up the repair and restoration work without government’s help and support”, he said.
He added: The people contributed generously to the cause of restoring the bridge. It has cost us around Rs 2.5 lakh and the entire bill was borne by the people. We thought of restoring the Portuguese-era bridge since it is now part of heritage. The future generations should be made aware that their ancestors had once upon a time took the bridge to head to neighbouring Chandor”.
With the restoration of the culvert adding beauty to the entire area, Freddy has mulled introducing boating in the water nullah after putting up a barrage as a means of recreation for the village children.
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