Current Affairs

Tourism authorities mis-governance led to environmental degradation of Sinquerim Beach: CAG

A Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in the assembly Thursday said Goa tourism authorities’ mis-management and non-transparent policies has resulted in financial losses.

The report has also claimed that mis-governance has led to such environmental degradation to a popular beach that it has become unsuitable for tourism.

CAG was referring to Sinquerim beach, most portions of which have simply vanished after a ship ran aground there in 2000.

“There is a possibility that one beach could become unsuitable for tourism due to environment damage inflicted by a ship which ran aground, but could not be removed for 12 years,” the auditor’s report said.

The tourism ministry’s penchant for skipping tendering processes and adopting non-transparent selection of vendors was also criticised.

According to the report, a single consultant was appointed in May 2008 for providing consultancy services for various tourism projects without calling for tender bids.

“The selection of advertising agencies and award of contracts for various promotional events were not transparent,” the report said.

It also said the department has no mechanism to “measure the outcome of the various promotional events undertaken by the agencies”.

The CAG also points out that electronic campaigns carried out by the tourism department were “found to be expensive by Rs.5.63 crore, when compared with rates offered by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity”.

The report was very critical of an advertising campaign on Zee TV and the BBC.

The government, the CAG report states, has failed to adequately promote new tourism products like festival, health and monsoon tourism.

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