After decades of neglect, two large Portuguese-era storm water drains in Central Panaji are being desilted, strengthened and restored to address the persistent flooding issues being experienced in the area. These old drains, remnants of the colonial era, had long been fully silted, blocked and buried, contributing to recurrent water-logging during monsoons, states a press release.

These old Portuguese era drains, which once served as vital conduits for storm water from the Altinho hill slopes and various areas in Panaji to the River Mandovi lie fully silted making them redundant. Recognizing the urgent need to revitalize these drains, the MD and CEO of Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) has halted black-topping and completion of two road stretches to undertake comprehensive cleaning and restoration efforts.

The ongoing works entail the desilting and refurbishment of two critical stretches of roads in Central Panaji, where the historic drains have been uncovered and cleared of decades of accumulated silt. These drains, buried beneath layers of neglect and debris, are being meticulously restored to their original function, aiming to alleviate flooding and ensure efficient drainage during heavy rainfall events.


Along Governador Pestana Road, a 360 meter stretch extending from Panaji Market to the Old Education Department Building, a drain of approximately 90 cm in width and 1.2 m deep, is undergoing refurbishment. This drain, situated partly along the road and partly within the footpath, is being revamped to improve storm water flow and alleviate waterlogging in the vicinity.

Similarly, along Cunha Rivara Road, a 200 meter segment from Church Square to Customs House, an old drain of approximately 90 cm width and of varying depth of 1 to 1.5m depth has been uncovered after persistent efforts below the existing PWD constructed surface drain and is undergoing restoration. Further road work along this stretch had been stopped to allow uncovering of the drain. This drain, previously obstructed by a surface drain wrongly constructed above it, is being rehabilitated to ensure the smooth flow of storm water from the Church Square area to DB Road, thereby addressing waterlogging concerns near Church Square.

Despite encountering delays on these two roads due to the intricate nature of the restoration work, IPSCDL remains committed to completing the project expeditiously. It is imperative to prioritize the rehabilitation of these underground storm water drains to safeguard against future flooding incidents.

IPSCDL emphasizes the significance of maintaining these main drains, as they serve as crucial conduits for directing storm water to the River Mandovi. Regular maintenance and clearance of these drains are essential to ensure effective drainage and prevent inundation during heavy rainfall.

The ongoing restoration efforts are being undertaken proactively, with a sense of urgency and dedication to completing all roadworks within the stipulated deadlines. The project proposal was formulated based on available data collected from various sources, including inputs from departments and residents, underscoring the collaborative approach adopted by IPSCDL.


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