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Three things seriously wrong with Goa!

It is a shame! that even coconuts in Goa have to be imported to satisfy the local demand. Certain things in Goa are going in the wrong direction there is no denying it. If not checked in time things will soon go out of hand. Sad part is a substantial number of Goans are themselves responsible for it.

Over charging

According to recent reports Goa is more expensive than Egypt and Thailand for a holiday. This trend of some members of the tourism industry, charging high prices has become a common sight.

This had even prompted a certain foreign nationality to operate their taxi services in Goa. Justification was that local taxi drivers harass and over charge them. It isn’t true that all taxi drivers conduct this malpractice in Goa. But, there are a few who do, bringing a bad name to all taxi owners here.

Another factor was the hotel room costs. It is said to have been higher than Thailand, Egypt and Sri Lanka. That is taking away tourists from Goa putting the industry in perils of all sorts. There have been several complaints by some of the tourism stake holders, in finding it difficult to break even at the end of tourism season.

Destruction of natural resources

A boom was caused in the real estate sector of Goa due to the boom in the tourism sector. The reason being, many people from the other parts of India wanted to have a second home in Goa. This caused real estate prices to skyrocket.

The situation has become so grave that it is impossible or difficult, for a middle class Goan to afford to buy land or a house in prominent areas of the state. It has also prompted many Goans to sell their land (including agricultural) to builders to develop houses which probably may not necessarily be owned by Goans.

The down side is land belonging to the family for generations is gone (remember the case of a brother murdering his own sister in Merces due to a property dispute). Forests are being cleared to build houses, hotels, commercial complexes etc.

There are many cases of land being sold using fake documents, occurrence of family disputes, for easy money etc. there have been situations where people have lived off of the money they got after selling their land, leaving their future generation with little or no inheritance.

Dependency on the other states

One serious bad characteristic about Goa is that, it is overly dependent on neighboring states for resources. E.g. Vegetables, milk, food grains are imported from states like Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is easy to understand that pulses need to be imported as they cannot grow here. But, why is even rice imported? Doesn’t Goa predominantly cultivate rice?

Another eye opener is the fact that Goa imports Coconuts. How is it even possible? It is truly sad that people have given up cultivating their lands or plantations; leading to Goa becoming insufficient in resources for its survival.

The time has never been so ripe to realize the problems Goa is facing today. Concrete steps need to be taken by not only the authorities but general public as well, because Goa belongs to all the Goans and not only the elected representative to bother fixing it.

Written by Shailesh Shriram Tanpure

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