Panjim’s streets are like a maze of Takeshi’s Castle

Dust clouds, blocked routes, dug-up roads, the trials of the Smart City never seem to end as commuters and businesses suffer
DUSTY REALITY: All roads in the Smart City of Panjim are either dug, dusty or both.
DUSTY REALITY: All roads in the Smart City of Panjim are either dug, dusty or both. Photo: Roxanne D'silva

The only talk of the town is the Smart City, but nobody will be giving Panjim a smart thumbs up. All that one can see these days is how the project is causing annoyance to the people living in the city and those commuting to it and within it.

Clouds of dust fill the air; routes are either blocked or roads dug up, causing inconvenience, not only to commuters, but also to businesses in, and around, the areas where the smart works are on.

DUSTY REALITY: All roads in the Smart City of Panjim are either dug, dusty or both.
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If you are a frequent visitor to the capital city of Goa, you will notice the the works of the Smart City have led to certain issues, one being literally face to face with flying dust emanating from all the digging.

The other issue is that the routes are blocked in and around the city, which in turn, affects business establishments in the vicinity.

A pharmacy along the Panjim market street was covered in so much dust every single day that they had to put up PVC strip curtains to stop the dust from entering.

ANYTHING BUT SMART: Panjim's roads are a mess which, in turn, affects the commuters.
ANYTHING BUT SMART: Panjim's roads are a mess which, in turn, affects the commuters.Photo: Sandeep Desai

People, not only find it annoying to move around the city due to the blocked roads and dust pollution, but stores in Panjim are badly affected by slow business, as they are virtually inaccessible since most of the roads are blocked with undergoing constructions.

Currently, with work underway all along the roads in St Inez, a store selling picture frames, located along the route, has not had a single walk-in customer.

On condition of anonymity, the store owner informs, “I have been running the store for a couple of years. But now, since business is slow, most of my work comes solely from commercial outlets and hotel orders.”

Fiona, who runs two cafes in close proximity of each other, says, “Both my shops have been affected by the digging of the roads. Apart from the dust that we are constantly forced to inhale, customers barely visit the café anymore because there is close to no road to drive on!”

In addition to that, Conan Jorge, who has a shop in Panjim city faces a similar issue of excessive dust.

DUSTY REALITY: All roads in the Smart City of Panjim are either dug, dusty or both.
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He says, “The construction of the sewage line has severely restricted access to my shop which in turn has impacted business for the past two months.” He adds, “Not only does it disrupt daily operations, but also creates a significant inconvenience to our customers.”

Thanks to the Smart City works, travelling on Panjim's roads has become a misery. It’s almost like a game of Takeshi Castle’s maze run, where you have to expect the unexpected.

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