The BJP government in Goa has formed a special co-ordination committee, with central government agencies, including the ASI, for the upkeep of the state’s iconic 17th century Church Complex in Old Goa, deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar told the state assembly on Friday.

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.

Kavlekar, who also holds charge as Minister for Archives and Archaeology also said during the Zero Hour of the Budget Session, that the committee was formed after the roof and several parts of the Bom Jesus Basilica complex were damaged following rain and unplanned maintenance.

“We have formed a committee, which includes the CM and me. We will ensure that this will not be repeated,” Kavlekar said.

The Committee comprises of the CM, Dy. CM and officials from the state archaeology, police, public works departments, as well as the central government’s Archaeological Society of India and senior church officials.

Construction of the Church complex, of which the Basilica is a part, by the Portuguese colonists was completed in the 17th century and is now a UNESCO-endorsed world heritage site.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the Church complex, which is located around 10 km from Panaji.

Last year, the Basilica had developed leaks in the monsoon season and the repair work was delayed because the contractor entrusted with the work was unable to hire workers during the Covid-19 lockdown.

–IANS

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