Central Jail Aguada, Goa’s erstwhile and largest prison, whose cells stand on the site that once formed the square-shaped citadel of the hilltop Fort Aguada, is all set for a major transformation. Since May 30, 2015, this prison no longer houses inmates who have now been shifted to the new jail at Colvale.
Nonetheless Central Jail, Aguada, will not stand forgotten as it will soon join Dhagshai Jail, Himachal Pradesh and the Cellular Jail, Andaman’s as a Jail Museum. While Dhagshai Jail, Himachal Pradesh and the Cellular Jail, Andaman’s are dated back to the British era, the Central Jail, Aguada dates to the Portuguese rule. The 17th century structure has some historical landmarks within its premises.
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s (GTDC) mega project to convert the old Central Jail, Aguada into a Museum is taking solid ground and the spade work has already begun.
The Corporation has involved both the Goa Heritage Action Group (GHAG) and Goa’s freedom fighters in this project as the Aguada Jail Museum project intends reviving and restoring history, heritage and will encompass it all as an attractive location for tourists visiting Goa.
Nilesh Cabral, Chairman of GTDC, said, “The old Central Jail at Aguada, Sinquerim is very well known not only as a prison but for its history and heritage. Now a vacant structure, GTDC has requested the government to make it a tourist spot and the Corporation has started working on a project that will preserve the heritage structure and showcase Goa’s freedom struggle and be a true tribute to the heroic deeds and glorious sacrifices of all those who took part in Goa’s Liberation.”
The Master Plan for developing Aguada Jail at Sinquerim into a tourist destination includes creating activity zones, viewing galleries, tourist information centers, improvement of temple and chapel areas, improving the prison cells, prison corridors, illumination of the jail campus, café and a lot more.