Is history… well, history? The Vasco Clock Tower
Our approach to being conscious of the past is contradictory. While the history syllabi in schools keeps burgeoning with more and more detail and trivia (quantity being confused for quality?); a sense of preservation of history and heritage on the ground does not seem to be a part of the conscious or subconscious thought process.
Little wonder that the few remaining historical and heritage structures in our neighbourhood receive little or no attention or priority.
The VW mooted a campaign to save our Clock Tower and the adjoining municipal market structure. While the GHAG has been consistently petitioning the MMC to take action to preserve and restore this structure.
Our highlighting this issue elicited a response from a young architect from our neighbourhood, Padma Khobrekar, who has done a detailed study of this heritage structure as a part of her architectural degree thesis and compiled a comprehensive restoration and reconstructive intervention.
We bring you the essence of Padma Khobrekar’s study.
Scope of Project
• Preservation planning for Governmental campuses.
• Design of restoration and rehabilitation of significant Historic Building Fabric.
• Design of Building Additions that are sympathetic to an existing Historic Context.
• Redeveloping the site within the pre-existing market, including the market itself by reusing physical components.
• Creating a specific market which is vital to the retailer’s success and physical components that are important for the city’s ongoing interest in properly constructed public infrastructure.
• A sense of community is meaningful- both emotionally and financially- to the surrounding property owners who will utilize the improvised addition to their neighbourhood.
• Being such a significant market, the Mormugao Municipal market lacks basic infrastructure and physical framework giving no justice to the traders and consumers using it.
• The already existing market requires urgent attention from the local government as well as the citizens of Vasco.
• The revival of the dilapidated Portuguese-era structure along with the adjacent market shed will renew and increase the economic growth of the city by giving added businesses and attracting tourism.
• Presently the market is in a highly dilapidated state without any maintenance and lacks basic infrastructure.
• Of the 300+ vendors who operate out of it, a majority are displeased with the space and hygiene issues.
• Mormugao Municipal Market is one of the biggest and busiest markets in the takula of Mormugao in Goa. It caters to the needs of residences living in Vasco-da-Gama and around.
• The most striking feature of the Mormugao Municipal Market is the clock tower.
• Built during the Portuguese era, the clock tower is one of the last remaining fragments in this town giving us a glimpse at European architecture.
• The clock tower rises to a height of three floors. Though
not massive, it has a decidedly grand character to itself and acts as a landmark for many.
• As one passes by the market today, they realise there is no connection to the physically built environment and that of the bustling market surrounding it.
• The whole market is in a state of disrepair and disorder.
• A once beautifully built and aesthetically pleasing structure now stands in a neglected and dilapidated condition.
• The transitory shed structure adjoining has become a permanent market with several space, hygiene and safety issues.
• The market has hence reached a point where immediate intervention by planners, developers and authorities is crucial.
• The conditions of the market deteriorate as one steps further inside.
• A number of sheds are constructed in close proximity to each other. This allows for absolutely no natural light and ventilation and creates a need for artificial light even during the afternoons.
• Goa being in a high rainfall region requires an adequate and efficient storm water drainage system.
• The system seen in the market is that erected by the shopkeepers themselves.
• A bunch of carefully sewn tarpaulin sheets leads most of the water to the floor; the floor which slopes in haphazard patterns takes the water out from these tin structures.
• But often you see pools of stagnant water posing as health threats. Thus the need for proper planning arises to provide a hassle-free environment for both shoppers and shopkeepers.
• With a well planned and maintained infrastructure the town of Vasco and its market has the potential to attract three times the tourists it already caters to.
• The economic growth will be seen in tourism as well as appreciation in property value.
• Better infrastructure will also correlate to better and healthier lives of the citizens.
• Revival and restoration of the historic Clock Tower and the adjoining building to its former glory enriches the cultural aspect of the town.
• Thus making the market a central piece in the architectural, historical, social and economic mainstay of the town.
While Padma Khobrekar’s study may require further architectural and civil engineering fine tuning, it gives a very substantial detailed starting point for commencing the clock tower restoration project.