Colva beach – South Goa’s most popular shore, is all set for development under Government of India’s Iconic Tourist Sites Project and is slated to not only boost beach tourism but up the profile of the local area along with community development.
According to a statement here on Friday, Colva will be India’s only beach which will be covered under this project along with 11 other tourist locations across the country which have been
identified by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Employment generation, development of the local culture, occupations, beautification, infrastructure, provision of facilities, public amenities are some of the key objectives of the initiative.
Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, on Friday chaired a high level meeting with all key officials from the Government of Goa and Goa Tourism at the Paryatan Bhavan in the city where details were unfolded on the Government of India’s Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project for Colva beach.
Verma reiterated that community involvement in the project would be thrust upon and local participation in making the project a success would be vital.
Following a presentation on the Iconic Tourist Sites Development project, Ms Varma also heard views and suggestions from various stakeholders from Colva represented by elected members from the local Village Panchayat.
She said, “Goa is a very important tourism destination and Colva beach has been selected after taking various factors into consideration.”
She pointed out that the exercise is on across all the 12 sites for identifying gaps that need to be bridged in taking forward the project effectively and successfully.
She said the Union Ministry of Tourism would consider points raised during several rounds of meetings and would submit the same to its consultants.
“A detailed Master Plan will be drawn up with a holistic approach to developing Colva beach as an Iconic Tourist Site in Goa,” she explained.
Varma also visited Colva beach and took stock of the on ground situation with regards to various activities, infrastructure etc.
Colva beach has been selected following various criteria which included footfall, popularity of the location, connectivity to the tourist site and several other parameters.
Nilesh Cabral, Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation also voiced concerns over activities hurdled due to CRZ norms and urged Ms Vema to look into the matter.
Looking forward to the development of Colva beach as an Iconic Tourist Site, Cabral said, “This exercise once completed will serve as a blue print for developing other beaches in Goa.”
Stakeholders from Colva including, representatives on behalf of local MLA of Benaulim who attended the meeting stressed on the need for measures to be stepped up with regards to cleanliness and hygiene, parking, garbage collection, regulation of water sports activities, shacks, sewerage and several environmental issues. They wholeheartedly welcomed the initiative and extended their full co-operation in making this project a success.
Present at the meeting were Secretary Tourism, Government of Goa, R P Singh, Director of Tourism, Government of Goa, Menino D’Souza, Managing Director of GTDC, Nikhil Desai, officials from the special purpose vehicle cell of GTDC, and key officials from other Government of Goa departments.
The Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India will hold meetings on Saturday to review projects undertaking by Goa under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
(photo courtesy tripmytravel)