Nitin Kuncolienkar, the immediate past president of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry boldly stood up for Goa to demolish the pre-conceived notions of metropolis based honchos have of the State based on the half truths told to them by their clients at the knowledge session titled “Goa Tourism – Investment Opportunities” held on Saturday at the International Travel Mart – Goa.
The pitch was set up by the moderator for the session Vijay Thacker, Director of Horwath HTL India who drawing comparisons with Phuket in Thailand and even Dubai said Goa was woefully short on hotel rooms to accommodate the very many tourists just waiting to visit it.
Chief Executive Officer of Duet India Hotels, Dilip Puri said investors were wary of Goa because of the licensing regime and more importantly because of the lack of proper titles to property.
However, Nitin challenged this view point by asserting that no other place in India would have a clearer flow of title than in Goa as thanks to the Portuguese regime, all lands in the State are registered having an inscription and description.
Vijay Thacker reference to the woes of investors whose projects are stalled due to people’s agitations were put in the right perspective by Nitin Kuncolienkar by pointing out that those investments were speculative without adhering to the laws of the land.
“Why were people buying paddy fields next to sea shores knowing very well that they cannot be converted?” he asked while pointing out that the agitations were primarily because of lack of transparency in the dealings which were not truly above board.
He also pointed out that there were violations of various laws including the Coastal Regulation Zone and declared that those who try to manipulate would pay the price. “The will of the people has to be respected as ultimately the will of the people will prevail,” he said.
Vijay Thacker who was trying to steer the discussion towards setting up infrastructure to attract IT sector that would involve large scale migration had to back track when Nitin Kuncolienkar pointed out that Goans are feeling insecure with the existing migrant population in the state.
“Migration to a certain extent is acceptable, but when it tends to change the demography of the region, the problems start and because Goans are feeling insecure due to the large migrant population in the State that all the agitations in recent times have taken place,” he said.
Nitin Kuncolienkar also suggested that the government take immediate steps to freeze migration to Goa in the best interest of Goa.
The experts were seeking to steer the discussion into adding infrastructure in Goa that would attract more tourists like Golf course, marina and convention centre.
Unfortunately, what was promising to be an interesting discussion was cut short by the vagaries of nature as the sudden heavy showers disrupted the power supply at the venue and by the time it was restored the audience had not only disappeared, but it was also too close to the closing ceremony.