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Convention centres, biodiversity parks, tourist attractions

  • Published in Infrastructure

Perhaps the most ambitious and extravagant part of the master plan, the 'Green and public spaces' segment envisions a number of convention centres, biodiversity parks, tourist attractions and other luxurious projects centered around the riverfront and other water bodies that traverse Panaji.

First, the plan proposes a biodiversity park at Ribandar. The sprawling park, along with the adjoining Ponte de Linares road will be a no-motor zone. An 'interpretation centre' of sorts will have exhibits, books and other resources to explain to visitors the biodiversity of the area. Ribandar's salt pans could also be packaged as a tourist attraction, reflecting the culture and history of the area by allowing visitors to be part of the salt-drying process.

Next, it proposes that some buildings along the riverfront on D B road should be demolished to open out the entire stretch to the public in the form of a park. A promenade will be built, on the lines of Mumbai's Marine Drive, from Dona Paula to Miramar, up to the children's park.

In addition, a continuous cycling path has been proposed from Dona Paula all the way to Ribandar, with various attractions like a cycling ground for children to practice and an oceanarium and auditorium at Miramar.

Moving on to the filthy St Inez creek, the plan focuses first on cleaning it up by preventing the release of sewage and dumping of garbage and re-building bridges that choke the flow of water.

The makeover would involve promenades and parks built along the creek, connecting it to other parts of the city. The slum dwellings along the banks could be upgraded, and the residents provided toilets and sewer connectivity to prevent them from polluting the creek.

A city welcome centre has been proposed at the run-down PWD campus, alongside the Ourem creek, to provide information and other services to tourists. A variety of beautification measures-walkways, parks, Venice-styled street cafes and pedestrian over-bridges could be applied to make the large stretch of land usable and productive.

At Mala lake, activities like boating and fishing could be promoted in a big way, and a cultural heritage centre can offer technical courses in historical construction and conservation techniques to help preserve and protect the city's cultural heritage.

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