Panaji, May 6 (IANS) Criticising the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for its lackadaisical attitude towards the preservation of a 17th century Catholic church, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday appealed to Union Minister of State for Tourism, Prahlad Patel, for assistance.
In a letter to Patel, Malik also urged the Union Ministry to instruct the ASI to complete maintenance work at the Old Goa church complex, one of the most popular tourism destinations in the state, before the onset of the monsoon.
"Though ASI has cited various constraints for the slow pace of work such as non-availability of sand or dillydallying and unresponsive behaviour of the contractors, the entire attitude of the ASI in preserving, conserving and restoring the Basilica seems to be casual and lackadaisical," the Governor said in his letter to Patel.
"The report of the ASI reflects uncoordinated action and non-committal attitude of the different branches of the ASI in dealing with the preservation and restoration of the architectural marvel," Malik said in his letter.
After complaints made by the Rector of the Basilica, Fr Patricio Fernandes, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has ordered the formation of a coordination committee of officials from the state government agencies and the ASI, for streamlining maintenance and restoration work at the Church complex.
The Bom Jesus Basilica is home to the mortal remains of Spanish saint St Francis Xavier, who was also associated with recommending the Inquisition in Goa. Born in Navarro village in Spain''s Basque region, Francis Xavier is regarded as the patron saint of Goa by the state''s Catholics, who account for around 26 per cent of the state''s 1.5 million population.
The Basilica is also recognised as an UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the most prominent places on the itineraries of the several million tourists and devotees who visit the state annually.
Quoting a complaint made by the church authorities, Malik said that the Basilica is in a general state of disrepair and neglect.
In his letter, Malik also urged the Union Minister to direct the ASI to "pull up their socks to complete all the restoration works in a time-bound manner and if possible, before the monsoon arrives in Goa".
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS