Before the Public Works Department was created, the“Senado da Cidadede Goa” or “Camara Municipal de Goa”, carried out all the public works in addition to its own duties, as per the rules governed under the “CodigoAdministrativo” approved by the Decree of 31.12.1836.
On 20.8.1892 a Decree was promulgated, whereby a common cadre of Public Works Departmentof overseas territories known as “Plano de Organisacao dos Servicosde ObrasPublicas, Comercio e Industria” was established. Later by a Decree dated 11th November, 1911, this was substituted by the “RegulamentoGeral das Direccoes e Inspeccoes das ObrasPublicas das Colonias” (general bye-laws). However, a Decree of 25.8.1913 made the legislation regarding the “RegulamentoOrganico de Direccao das ObrasPublicas do Estado de India” applicable to Goa.
By Portaria No. 654 of 7th August 1920, all the three engineering services of Goaviz.(i) Direccao das ObrasPublicas (ii) Direccao Fiscal de Caminho de Ferro e Porto de Mormugao and (iii) Commissao de Melhoramento de Mormugao were incorporated into a single cadre, under one Directorate to unify all the services of technical nature under a single authority. By Portaria No. 1058 of 28th October, 1922, a sub-division within the Directorate of Public Works Department was created.
Due to the reforms that took place in the “CartaOrganica”, various services concerning public works, hydraulic works, land survey and the national movements in Goa, were brought under one department known as “Direcao de Servicos das ObrasPublicas”headed by the Director of Public Works Department. Consequently, the cadre of “Direccao de Caminho de Ferro e Porto de Mormugao”and“Commiss de Melhoramentos de Mormugao” were separated from this Department.
The Cadastral Survey was re-organised by “Diploma Legislativo” No. 401 dated 10th March 1930 and a separate section known as “Seccao de Minas e Industrias” was created and placed under the charge of the Director of Public Works Department. His duties included carrying out the exploration of mines, geological survey, industries and industrial statistics but excluded industries which fell under the jurisdiction of the Captain of Ports.
However, a few years before Liberation, the whole set upwas radically changed and the services of Cadastral Survey and the Industries and Mines were placed under the control of a separate department known as “Direccao de Economia”, thereby separating these services from the purview of this department.
Before Goa’s Liberation, the department had under its ambit a network of about 647 kilometers of roads which joined themain trunk roads connecting the talukasand important towns, as well as roads leading tothe adjoining States of Maharashtra and Karnataka.However, soon after Liberation, the department underwent a phenomenal growth of public works. It provided large scale employment to the available local and outside labour and also contributed towards the socio-economic changes for the betterment of Goans.
Since the Department had by nowenlarged its activities, it was imperative to revamp the Department for better administrative results. Hence, at this stagethe post of the Director of Public Works Department was converted into that of the Chief Engineer. This authority had under its control 5Circle Offices along with 20 Divisions dealing with various types of public works such as buildings, water supply, national highways, roads, bridges, mechanical and electrical works and the works of local bodies. This Department adopted therules and regulations of Central Public Works Department.
Immediately after Liberation, the Department undertook the improvement and widening of existing surface of the roads, by providing blacktopped surface. The Department also reconstructed damaged bridges “by the retreating Portuguese army "totaling to 13 in number, the major one being the Borim bridge.
The Department carries out the following major important works in the sectors of Buildings, Roads and Bridges, Public Health Engineering, Drainage Schemes and Electrical and Mechanical works :
In this sector, the Department undertakes the construction of office buildings for itself and helps all other departments like Electricity, Education Department, Information and Tourism, etc.to build their different dependencies, quarters and so on. Besides, the Department uses its technical manpower to supervisebuilding constructions of Municipalities, Block Development Offices and other local bodies like Comunidades, temples, etc. It also undertakes the valuation certificate for the Collector's Office, technical sanctions for projects on which Government loan is sanctioned, and sanctioning technical projects for Housing Board.
Roads and Bridges
Roads are classified into National Highways, West Coast Roads, State Highways, Major District Roads and other roads, covering a total mileage of approximately 3,685 kilometers. Besides the major Jawaharlal Nehru Bridge, there are about39 bridges of various sizes, important among them being the UsgaoBridge, Candeaparbridge and Cumbarjua bridge. The construction of theZuari bridge across the Zuari river provided a link on the national highway along with the Jawaharlal Nehru Bridge.
Public Health Engineering
In this sector, the department looks after Water Supply Schemes for drinking purposes. Before Liberation only the main towns of Panaji, Margao, Ponda and Vasco-da-Gama and villages en route were supplied with water from the Opa plant. However, post Liberation due to rapid development, the capacity of the water treatment plant at Opa was augmented.
Under this scheme, Sewage Treatment Plants and Sewerage Schemesfor the various towns and house connections to sewers are undertaken for the benefit of the inhabitants.
Electrical and Mechanical Works
This part of the Department maintains plants and equipment of roads and buildings and also any other required for Civil Engineering Works and purchases of various machinery. It has a workshop dealing with carpentry, unity and other allied crafts. It also hasa garage and looks after the maintenance and repairs of various government vehicles.