The North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) has issued no-objection certificate (NOC) to Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) to start the work of converting the erstwhile central jail at Aguada, Sinquerim into a museum for which Rs 25 crore has been deposited into the government account, Calangute MLA Michael Lobo revealed. He said that the initiative is part of the government endeavour to keep the history of Goa’s liberation alive. Lobo was speaking at a function of the 45th death anniversary of the first chief minister of Goa Dayanand Bandodkar at the Calangute circle near the Calangute promenade where the MLA garlanded the statue of Bandodkar. He said that the youth aspiring to enter politics should inculcate Bandodkar’s values adding, “The first chief minister of the state contributed in a big way to the field of education in Goa by starting primary schools in every village. If Goa is developed and is shinning on the international map credit goes to Bandodkar who laid the foundation.”
Lobo further said that every cell at the Aguada jail will be named after freedom fighters and their statues will be installed so that the future generation knows Goan culture and its freedom movement. He also said that the Calangute circle will also be beautified as many tourists come to Calangute. A ‘freedom fighter’s square’ is also being planned near the entrance of the Calangute beach. “The busts of all Calangutkars who participated in India’s freedom struggle and Goa’s liberation movement, including those who are still alive, will featured at the square,” Lobo said. Recalling that roads and education was given top priority during Bandodkar’s regime, social worker Eknath Nagvekar made a demand that the government name the Mopa airport after the first chief minister Bandodkar adding, “Fort Aguada should be converted into a tourist destination which will help keep the Goan history alive.” Freedom fighter Cyrico Dias, while speaking at the function, said that developing roads, improving electricity and education infrastructure was Bandodkar’s vision. He said that the present politicians should follow in the footsteps of Bandodkar, which is not happening.