Mandovi Bridge

Three’s company.

This is the next installment of Panjim Promenade, our series on the heritage of Panjim.

The concrete span across River Mandovi seen in the first two photos below is really two bridges. The original bridge, built in the 1970s, collapsed in 1986. The main reason for failure was determined to be “corrosion of the prestressed cable that attached the precast concrete segments to the piers.” (See this.) Shoddy workmanship, poor technical supervision and corrupt practices are the touchstone of Indian ‘engineering.’

A second bridge was constructed cheek by jowl and the original one restored later. Both are striking eyesores and boast third-rate build quality; other than that they are “majestic” (according to Wiki). Not one to rest on past laurels, the current Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, has pulled another rabbit out of his IIT behind bonnet and commissioned a third bridge. After all, bridges and Indian politicians are natural bedfellows.

The first two images were taken from the roof of the Tourist Hostel building.

Mandovi Bridge, Panjim

Last light on Mandovi Bridge
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 
Mandovi Bridge, Panjim, Goa

Panjim on River Mandovi
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 

The old photos featured here are from the Central Library Archives in Panjim. The ferry was the main mode of transport across River Mandovi well into the 1970s.

Old Panjim

River Mandovi separates Panjim (right) and Malim (left), c. 1900
© Souza & Paul, Central Library Archives

 

In this image the Idalçao Palace (Adilshah Palace, which served as the Old Secretariat for almost three decades in post-Liberation Goa) is to the right of the frame. The arrow indicates the location of today’s Tourist Hostel from which rooftop the first two photos were taken.

Old Panjim

Panjim on River Mandovi c. 1900
© Souza & Paul, Central Library Archives

 

Panjim in the 1980s, showing early signs of decay (i.e. the advent of ugly Indian concrete). The original Mandovi Bridge is seen. The arrow again points to the Tourist Hostel.

Mandovi Brige, early 1980s

Panjim, early 1980s

 
Old Panjim

Panjim, looking towards Ribandar, c. 1900
© Souza & Paul, Central Library Archives

 

I shot a similar perspective from the second deck of the Doordarshan TV tower in Altinho (see final image below). It entailed going up a flight of rusty stairs inside the dank, dark tube and then praying that the platform on the deck would hold. Prayers and Indian ‘engineering’ always go together.

View of Panjim from the Doordarshan tower in Panjim

A recent perspective, 2007
5D, 35L

 
Doordarshan tower in Panjim

Doordarshan TV tower
5D, 35L

 

PS: Check out Ponte de Liñhares, built by the Portuguese in 1632.

 
 
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