The Goa Wildlife Board has recommended an increase in number of tourist taxis leading to the picturesque Dudhsagar waterfall on the Goa-Karnataka border, in a bid to provide employment to people in this area who have lost their jobs due to halt in mining activity.
A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday decided to have additional 120 tourist taxis at Collem, a station next to Dudhsagar waterfall. Currently, there are 100 taxis operating to Dudhsagar. “It was decided to increase the number as lot of youths who were left unemployed after mining ban have applied for licences to operate taxis,” a senior board member told PTI.
The meeting was also attended by State Tourism Minister Alina Saldanha. Dudhsagar waterfall, which is a prime attraction for tourists, can be reached by train, and also by a road travelling through forests. Only specialised vehicles can traverse this path, which is a tough terrain. A permission of State Forest department needs to be taken for tourist taxi drivers, who several times double up as guides for visitors.
The wildlife board also submitted a turtle conservation plan to the state government. The plan has been drawn to conserve Olive Ridley Turtles who turn to the shores of Galjibag, Morjim and Agonda to lay eggs. These zones are already declared as protected one, due to presence of turtle nests there, and are guarded by the forest department. The board also discussed the setting up of a butterfly park at Selaulim dam, a reservoir that provides potable and irrigational water to 80 per cent of Goa. The dam is situated in the Sanguem taluka of South Goa.