Panaji: The Goa government has formed a special committee, headed by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, for the timely maintenance and restoration of the 17th century Basilica of Bom Jesus, Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar told the state Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
Kavlekar was responding to a Zero Hour mention made by opposition MLA Sudin Dhavalikar who complained of neglect of the Unesco-endorsed structure which had developed leakage due to non-timely repairs.
“The Chief Minister has formed a committee, Old Goa World Heritage area co-ordination Committee which will oversee (repair and restoration works). We will make sure there will be no problems in the future,” said Kavlekar, who is also the state’s Archives and Archaeology Minister.
The Committee comprises the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and officials from the state archaeology, police, public works departments, as well as the Central government’s Archaeological Society of India, as well as church officials.
Construction of the church complex, of which the Basilica is a part, by the Portuguese colonists was completed in the 17th century.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the church complex, which is located around 10 km from Panaji. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, which is the key heritage building in the complex, also holds the relics of Fr. Francis Xavier, a Spanish Saint, who died in the mid 1500s.
Earlier this year, the Basilica had developed leaks in the monsoons and the repair work was delayed because the contractor entrusted with the work was unable to hire workers during the Covid-19 lockdown.