Four prime pieces of waterbody-facing real estate owned by the Goa tourism department, including a large plot at the famous Baga beach, will be developed in public private partnership (PPP) mode, a minister said Wednesday.
Tourism Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar told the Goa assembly that the properties lying ‘idle’ at Baga, a riverside property at Britonna, a lakeside property at Mayem (all in north Goa) and another prime property overlooking a natural spring alongside the National Highway 17, were under consideration for development in the PPP mode.
‘The properties are lying idle thereby leading to illegal encroachments, unauthorised trespass, dumping of garbage, etc,’ Halarnkar said in a written reply to a question in the assembly.
‘The properties, if developed in a planned manner, can help in creating better tourism infrastructure, generate employment opportunities and attract private investments in the state,’ Halarnkar said.
According to data provided by the tourism ministry, the 52,006 sq mt plot at Baga has been ‘lying idle’ could be developed as a ‘five star, environmentally friendly eco-hotel’, if feasibility permits.
The tourism department has also said that the picturesque riverside property along the Mandovi river at Britona, near Panaji, could be developed as a mini-marina (harbour) for mooring of boats and yachts, which would ‘help promote Goa as a high end tourist destination’.
Both the properties were acquired by the tourism department in 1976 and have been lying idle since.
However, opposition as well as ruling legislators have repeatedly opposed the Congress-led alliance government’s attempts to execute numerous projects in the health and tourism sector via the PPP gateway.
‘In my constituency in Britona, a marina is sought to be set up under the PPP mode and similarly at Baga an eco-hotel is set to come up, all this is under the PPP mode.
‘When there are already so many pressing issues in the tourism department that need the attention of the government, instead of taking up projects on its own, the department is intending to hurt the people of Goa by further causing them more hardships,’ Congress legislator and former deputy chief minister Dayanand Narvekar said.