The government wants to turn the old Secretariat into a cultural centre with art galleries, museums etc.So be prepared for a mall there or something equally kitschy. The MLAs built their own Palacio da Idalcao (Goa Niwas, Delhi) for Rs 16.72 crores and the projected cost is Rs 19,70 crores.The original cost of the new Assembly at Porvorim was Rs 13 cr. It was re-estimated at cost Rs 26 cr. It's always an 'estimated cost put to tender' and an 'up to date expenditure'. In the first is where the cr

What models they'll make!!
A Madame Tussauds for Goa?

Perhaps the oldest colonial edifice in Goa, the old Secretariat building, or Adil Shah Palace or Palacio da Idalcao is currently being renovated at a cost of Rs 3,86,37,880 and the expenditure required to complete the renovation is currently pegged at Rs 7,25,62,120.  This of course is peanuts compared to, I think, the Rs 36 crore that was spent to give Adil Shah's inheritors a spanking new Assembly at Porvorim. It is the government's intention to turn the old Secretariat into a cultural centre thereby establishing art galleries, museums etc. While it's more than probable that the Rs 7,25,62,120 could rocket into space like the Agni-3 currently doing trials; what is true is that the government is fuzzy as to what it intends to do with it.

So be prepared for a mall to come up there or something equally kitschy. Because, apart from Madame Tussauds wax replicas of forty plus two you know who, past and present, I can't think of anything else that can be preserved there for posterity. Can you? No, you can't because the upkeep of the statues and artifacts was criticised in that very Assembly last week. And, if a raison d'etre be required, there is always the parallel of the UP chief minister to fall back on. But, trust me on this one, there are already a million Dilliwallahs jostling for a part of the action.

Remember, the Entertainment Society of Goa came up with 'adaptive reuse' when it wanted to lease out the Macquinez Palace (old GMC building, Campal, Panjim) to a Dilliwallah for a mall? On this one you are going to need a Thesaurus to come with an appropriate phrase. Here's a thought: adaptive reuse is the process of adapting old structures for purposes other than those initially intended. And our montris are really, really good at this, don't you think?

Proof of the Pudding

The you-know-who built their own Palacio da Idalcao (officially known as Goa Niwas, Chanakyapuri, Delhi) at a cost till date of Rs 16,72,69,000 and the projected cost is expected to be Rs 19,70,22,800. See, it's always about 'projected'. And of course the projected can get even more. What the government would call projected, but what I would say is easily predictable. For instance, if my memory serves me right, the original cost of the new Assembly at Porvorim was Rs 13 cr. It was re-estimated to cost Rs 26 cr. The information I have does not say how much our Government paid, or rather, you and I paid for the land to build the Goa Niwas, or, why so typically, your government always has an 'estimated cost put to tender' and an 'up to date expenditure'. But then, we all know why, don't we? In the first is where the creamy layer lies, in the second, is where the creme de la creme lies. Get it?

For the record

Civil & plumbing works Rs 52770013 (estimated cost put to tender) Rs 92532650 (up to date expenditure); interior works Rs 12572819.64- Rs 12393000; internal electrification -Rs 7715584-Rs 11897761; fixtures & fans Rs 2081429-Rs 1982408; EPABX system Rs 809329-Rs 492535; CCTV & car call system Rs 1421155-Rs 520267. 

Cops privatized?

Has the police department privatized its traffic cell, is a question people are asking these days and especially because after the UPA bounced back, its disinvestment plan is in place now that the Left which put a spoke in the wheel, is not part of the centre. It’s like this, in every vantage point in Goa, traffic police can be seen pocketing their self-imposed fines. In Panjim, they do it under the shade of the Mandovi bridge. You can also see them at the Cortalim traffic isle earning their keep, or at Filsu bar down the river side below where they celebrate with lunch and a few pegs. So, it’s being asked on the roads, has the department stopped paying salaries?

The office of the deputy superintendent of Police (traffic) traffic headquarters, Altinho, Panjim took this to a new level. A colleague gave me a challan served at his home in Aquem, I repeat SERVED TO HIM BY TWO POLICE CONSTABLES AT HIS HOME, charging him with driving his car at Quepem on a particular date and time (details withheld, but I have the original with me). He is now supposed to pay a fine of Rs 100 at the Altinho office. On that date and time he was in Panjim and neither he nor anybody else in the family drove to Quepem. Was his car selectively picked, was it randomly singled out or did the cops, err, as a car whizzed past contrived to get the number which turned out to be his. Let’s give the cops the benefit of the doubt, but to hand-serve the notice deploying two cops for a misdemeanor like not wearing a seat belt? Really now. There’s also this lawyer, quite a few people know in Margao who was also a victim. He was all fire and brimstone at first, but …… So, there might just be some truth in that rumour. God forbid!