Equipment and Infrastructures
Goa [Velha Goa/Old Goa], Goa, India
Equipment and Infrastructures
Public Works Most public works undertaken by the Portuguese administration that are still visible in Goan territory date to the second half of the 19th century and the 20th century. The oldest structures have disappeared, due to gradual abandonment of the old capital and its consequent decay. The churches remain, however, par excellence symbols of a bygone power. With the situation in Portugal now stable (after political upheavals in the first half of the 19th century), Goa's territorial configuration established and the decision made to move the state apparatus to Panaji, the construction of new public buildings could begin. These undertakings were linked to that move, to the local powers then gaining autonomy and prominence (councils of Bardez and Mapusa; former councils of Salcette and Margao; former council of the Islands) or to the reforms in various sectors, such as teaching, over the course of the 19th century. The organisation of public administration was thoroughly reformed during the 19th century in both Portugal and the overseas territories. The corresponding public works were also subject to changes affecting their organisation and management. Overall, the following aspects of this process stand out: the separation of civil and military projects (1870) and administrative rearrangements affecting the overseas territories and the respective public works services in 1869 and 1892. In Goa, the restriction of the Goa Senate's powers over municipal works (1840) was certainly one of the most significant changes. Beyond organisational and management questions, the context of the efforts undertaken by the Estado da India's Public Works Department in the 19th and 20th centuries remained very similar until 1961. In Daman and Diu there were Public Works Department sections, but the decision-making centre was Goa. What happened there was reflected in the rest of the territory. Given the lack of independent technical professionals, the Public Works Department was responsible for drawing up plans, monitoring and controlling infrastructures (road, hydraulic equipment, etc.) and state buildings, as well as projects pertaining to communities, municipalities and the church. For example, it is known that José Frederico D'Assa Castelo Branco - sub-director and director of Public Works from 1879 to 1903 - was appointed supervisor of the church's projects in early 1884. Although the precise authorship of many of these built projects is not known, their profile can be established. In Public Works, most of the personnel were born in Goa. The military engineers sent over from Lisbon were gradually replaced from the second half of the 18th century on, when personnel began to be trained in Goa. In 1817 the Goa Military Academy was founded, offering three courses, one of them engineering. In 1841 it became the Mathematic and Military School. Most of the personnel comprising the Public Works Department in the second half of the 19th century came from these schools - all were descendents of Portuguese. Such is the case of José de Costa Campos (Monument to Afonso de Albuquerque, Panaji), Francisco Ferreira Martins (Mother of God Church, Saligao), José D'Assa Castelo Branco (Archibishop's Palace, Panaji), Augusto Lobato Faria (Misericórdia Hospital, Goa), among others. The territory's public architecture had Portuguese roots, albeit second-hand - it was simple and functional, with no need to impose. In the new capital, planners often preferred to rebuild existing edifices instead of building new ones. This may be one reason why those buildings somewhat resembled private residential architecture. Economic difficulties affecting the Estado da India and Portugal obviously had something to do with this option. Also, indecision about whether to move the capital to Vasco da Gama/Mormugao at times postponed fundamental projects for both cities as well as the normal operations of public administration. The influence of British India was felt, but only occasionally, although more so after the Portuguese-British Treaty was signed in 1878 and construction of the railroad began (1881). The public works priority now shifted to the road system linking Goa to neighbouring territory and efforts were made to make the railway viable. The question of whether to move the capital remained open; the construction or reconstruction of public buildings in the capital nevertheless continued. In this same period the closing of the Military School (1871) and the end of the India Army (1878) had a major impact on the training of Goan personnel. The army's disbandment led to a loss of influence and opportunities for the community of Luso-descendents, which dominated public works for some time afterward. The results of the Berlin Conference and the 1890 British Ultimatum meant sovereignty questions were recurrent. In Portugal, the colonial issue was now at the forefront of society's concerns. The presence of Portuguese technical personnel in the territory also became more frequent, sometimes marking the start of a promising career in other overseas territories. At other times they involved specific service postings, such as the cases of Cândido Xavier Cordeiro (railways), Norton de Matos (surveying) and José Emílio Castelo Branco (hydraulics). Despite being somewhat reluctant to accept the increasing British ascendance, its spreading influence was undeniable. But it was nearly impossible for Portugal, a poor and faraway country, to fight the strong influence of the neighbouring jewel in the British Empire's crown. In the early decades of the 20th century, the increasing Goan diaspora, or the fact that many left the territory to complete their education, meant that professionals trained in the schools of the British Raj began to arrive in Goa, among them Ramachondra M. Adwalpalkar (Pavilion of the School Hospital, Panaji) or Luís Bismark Dias (Vasco da Gama Casino), a trend that continued until 1961. Portuguese technical personnel also visited the neighbouring territory to observe projects then under way and sometimes called in their counterparts from British India, as happened regarding the water supply for Panaji. The building vocabulary and the cities' image were transformed and freed from the Portuguese construction tradition, now paying more attention to climate requirements and seeking models used in the British Empire. Public buildings were used to stimulate urban development (Town Hall of Salcette, Margao). New typologies were used (Afonso de Albuquerque Lyceum, Panaji), experiments were made regarding architectural language and buildings began to more clearly indicate their representative functions. Work on important infrastructures continued, such as the irrigation channels begun in 1899 and deemed vital for the territory's agricultural development. There was also a real commitment to developing the city of Vasco da Gama. The last period of Portuguese rule arrived with the Estado Novo, but Goa's public works policies continued as before. Changes were only notable after the independence of British India in 1947 and the consequent formation of the Indian Union. In the last years construction was the byword, with emphasis on infrastructures such as the water supply, urbanisation plans for major cities, public assistance and education. But buildings were also put up with the most diverse functions (Mapusa Market, Salcette Communities Administration, in Margao). Besides the closer collaboration with technical personnel from the Overseas Urbanisation Office in Lisbon, Governor Vassalo e Silva created, besides the Public Works Department which carried out much of his planned work, the Studies and Works Office (1959) and the Public Works Brigades, hiring local professionals. These Goans had a very diverse educational background (Naguexa Pissulencar, in Mumbai; Balcrisna Naique, at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon; Bernardino Camilo da Costa Júnior, in Belgium) and were joined by many Portuguese counterparts. Most of the major public buildings were planned using a classical, nationalist or modernist vocabulary and ended up not being built. Modernist influence was felt, though in most cases only timidly. Two architects stand out in this period: Naguexa Pissurlencar and Lucinio Cruz. Yet despite the political attention, Lisbon continued to put off major investments. Public architecture remained simple and functionalist. After a short period central to Portuguese interests in the Orient, Goa became a marginal territory under the sphere of influence of two empires, the Portuguese and the British, whose respective balances were changing. Except for rare exceptions, the Portuguese personnel and public works directors were usually posted for short periods of time. The ones who actually ended up designing and deciding were the technical staff in Goa, whom Lisbon always tried to control, though this was extremely difficult and often unsuccessful. The architecture of Goa's 19th and 20th century public buildings reflects a territory that proudly survived on its own, without the need to show off a long established power. Primary Schools The organisation of the Estado da India's educational system accompanied trends in Portugal, with more consistent and meaningful development after the liberal triumph. In the second half of the 19th century various reforms were undertaken. The primary school network was expanded, thought this did not always result in new buildings. There were many schools functioning in community houses, confraternities, church buildings or private homes, as otherwise occurred in Portugal. Although school infrastructures were built from the second half of the 19th century up to 1961, there were three periods of major expansion marked by the construction of schools throughout the territory. The first and only known school model in the territory, broadly applied in Goan territory over time, was published in the Official Government Gazette of January 1881. It laid down precise rules for construction, with a focus on health concerns. Schools were to be built on well ventilated sites with easy access. They were to comprise a single room with capacity for 50 students, the teacher's residence and a wraparound veranda. Ventilation concerns were evident; it was recommended that a school's floor should be 80 cm above the ground and that the room should have a minimum ceiling height of three and a half metres. Beyond the building plan, rules were established for the furniture and it was recommended that the teacher's house should be contiguous. However, nowadays not a single such case can be seen in Goa, probably because all the teachers' houses were transformed into classrooms. Various examples of this construction model are spread throughout Goan territory, among them Taleigao, Marcel (Islands), Cortalim, Nuvem and Verna (Salcette) and also Arpora (Bardez). Note that this model has rural characteristics and that at the time neither the primary schools of Panaji nor those of Mapusa had their own building. In Tivim (Bardez) an adapted version of this model can be found, somewhat larger as it includes a library. This may be the building mentioned in the report by A. Pereira as being Goa's first school building. In 1907, following the previous year's educational reform, new legislation was enacted with standards governing the construction of primary schools. These rules closely followed those established in 1881, and health was once again a central concern. But the new laws placed even more emphasis on hygiene questions. Rules were also made for houses not originally built for school purposes. This measure was very significant, since most schools still did not have their own facilities. The approval of this legislation did not result in more constructions, as occurred in 1881. It was only in the first years of the Portuguese Republic, during the governorship of Couceiro e Costa (1910-1917) that the second phase of increased construction occurred. Examples are the buildings in Saligao and Revora (Bardez), Bicholim, Quepem, Margao and Panaji. Up to that point the buildings were quite similar - they were raised off the ground and had verandas. These verandas were previously made of wood but now laterite began to be used, which substantially changed their appearance. The aforementioned rural characteristics become clear when we see that this model was not applied in the Margao or Panaji schools. It was in the last years of Portuguese rule, during the governorships of Bernard Guedes (1952-1958), but mainly Vassalo e Silva (1958¬1961), that the number of schools increased again, and they were now present in most of the territory's villages. The projects were planned in the Study and Works Office headed by Captain Manuel Rodrigues Fangueiro. Many of the buildings have simple rectangular plans, often with a veranda in the centre of the main façade, though the design could vary depending on the school's capacity. The many examples include Colvale and Guirim (Bardez), Betul, Cuncolim and Cansaulim (Salcette), Cundaim and Quela (Ponda), Xeldem (Quepem). In sum, two construction types can be distinguished for primary school installations : one urban, ofwhich there are only two examples with distinct architectural options, and the other rural. The situations described above pertain to schools of the rural type, which in different periods had common features: they are simple and pragmatic. Among them, the ones built according to the 1881 model stand out more in Goa's rural landscape. Health Delegations The Estado da India's Health Service were first organised in the mid-19th century, based around military doctors and hospitals responsible for providing part of the official medical assistance, and was successively reorganised until early in the next century. In the decade after the Colonial Health Services were reconfigured in 1919, Goa's territory was divided into Health Delegations [Delegacias] approximately corresponding to the counties' areas. This division of territory, later revised in 1927 and 1941, was grounded on the provision of services through regional centres, sub-centres, clinics and health stations. Most of these services did not function in their own buildings until the last two decades of Portuguese rule; the infrastructures we find scattered throughout Goan territory are from that time. Most of the known examples are very simple buildings put up with very limited financial resources. They are significant only in that they comprise a territorial network that somewhat resembles the health systems in Portuguese territory, and that they continue to function as a primary healthcare network in Goa. Among these facilities, the buildings housing the health centres in Ponda and Quepem, which both follow the same model, stand out for their architectural quality. Witnesses mention the existence of other buildings in Goan territory built according to this plan, but it has not been possible to identify examples. Only in Diu was a similar construction identified, but it now houses the Directorate of Accounts. It was not possible to confirm whether it was previously a health centre. The option was for buildings with a modernist vocabulary emphasising horizontal construction and distinguishing the different functions: a dwelling for the health officer and the space used by the Health Centre properly speaking. The L-shaped construction was elevated from ground level by means of a horizontal base, with the entrance set in middle of the main façade. Inside, the reception area provided access to two sets of spaces. The dwelling space was presumably on the right side (when facing the building), although it has not been possible to identify spaces corresponding to that function, such as the kitchen. In this part of the building there are no circulation spaces and all rooms communicate with each other. At the end of the building is a separate entrance, visually protected with respect to the main façade. The elevations are restrained, with well-defined openings; one of the spaces opens entirely to the main façade via series of regularly aligned windows. The health centre would have functioned on the left side of the building. The compartments are in the centre, with verandas on both sides. This ensures better ventilation and protection against the weather and also provides minimal space for waiting and moving about. At the end of this section is a more closed volume occupying the entire footprint. The façade design reflects the buildings' interior options and differences. These two buildings remain reasonably well-preserved, although they have been subject to some changes that did not significantly alter them, for the verandas are now closed off by grilles.