The Goa Government is planning an ambitious tourism development plan for Chapora River and the surrounding areas. It is likely to boost tourism, according to the people behind boosting the project.
The Government has set up a committee – the River Chapora Development Committee. The committee is under the chairmanship of Captain of Ports to oversee the project. Members from various other departments like the Fisheries, River and Navigation, Tourism, Finance, Goa State Pollution Control Board and Directorate of Panchayats are Present in the committee.
Destruction of Chapora
However the project has come under much scrutiny from the locals as well as people from other parts of Goa. Notwithstanding the opposition from the locals, the Chief Minister announced that the proposed 1000-crore project in the Chapora River would not be stalled.
According to Parsekar, the project proposed by him is needed to promote hinterland tourism in the Pernem Taluka. The project will help attract high-end tourists in this part of Goa.
Goa attracts millions of tourists every year and the beaches become overcrowded. The state government now wants to tap into Goa’s rivers for their ability to attract tourists, as well as to share the burden of transportation and commuting within the state.
According to Parsekar, tourists who land at Dabolim Airport should be able to head to Panjim or Calangute not only by road, but also by boat. This will be an added attraction for the tourists coming to Goa. The Government is waiting for investors to invest and once that is done there will be a lot of jobs created and tourism will be diversified from the coast to the hinterland.
The government has appointed Master & Associates, a Mumbai based company as the project management consultant. The consultant has the duty to prepare a techno-feasibility report with a financial model to develop the river for eco-friendly tourism activities and inland water transport which will develop the surrounding areas and generate employment for the local community. The consultant will conceptualize and guide the project to make it successful by overcoming all risks.
The consultant will have to advise the government on all aspects of tourism activities. Backwater tourism, water sports, underwater tourism, and hospitality-related activities for sustainable and eco-friendly river tourism activities to name a few. The consultant will also have to identify sites for various infrastructural projects, which inlcude dredging, construction of jetties, etc.
- Ferry Terminals
- Tourist Village
- Hotel Complex
- Aquarium Project
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- Sea World
- Bird Park
- Adventure Sports Island
- Water Transport Utilities
- Cable Car
- Tented Accommodation
Each of the projects seem to include spending crores to showcase what Goa naturally has i.e. village life and natural beauty.
The Drawbacks of the Project
Garbage: With the Saligao Waste Management Plant unable to function to its full capacity due to the lack of garbage segregation, Who is going to look after the garbage management along the project lines? Who is going to keep an eye on littering and disposing of garbage in the river?
Environmental Impact: The infrastructure built along the river is sure to have an impact on the flora and fauna of the place.
Local Occupations: There will be a huge impact on the marine life with the amount of activity being proposed for the river.
Tourist Village: Do we really need to ‘build’ a village in the process of destroying one?
Land Grabbing: In a report it was mentioned that there would not be any land grabbing, but the investors will acquire the land by paying a proper compensation or work out a share model with the local land owners. How many times have promises been already broken?
Job Opportunities: Will jobs actually be created for locals or will outsiders get the green light?
Is it really advisable to ask a Non-Goan company to create a plan for our rivers? Would they really care about the impact on the environment or will they turn a blind eye for a bigger share in the profit? Goans are capable and can bring out the best, why isn’t anyone being consulted on this ?
Will the project actually benefit the locals? What are your thoughts on the ‘Development’ of the Chapora River? Do write to us, everyone’s opinion matters.