Union Tourism Ministry has come to Goa’s rescue by expressing its willingness to fund the development of tourism infrastructure upto Rs 150 crore, subject to fund utilization and has called on the State to determine its activities according to its carrying capacity.
Union Secretary for Tourism, R H Kwaja announced this at a meeting with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar and other officials on Tuesday.
Kwaja, however, expressed concern over the slow progress of existing central-sponsored tourism projects in Goa and urged the Government and administration to speed up work and ensure that projects are completed at the earliest.
The central ministry’s sanction of additional funds upto Rs 150 crore, would depend on projects and utilisation of funds, Kwaja said.
While reviewing the existing projects, he was unhappy that even though the Centre had sanctioned Rs 80 crore during the last three years, only Rs 30 crore had been tapped so far.
The Union secretary for tourism also impressed upon the State to add more thrust on regulating shacks and water sports activities on the beaches. He also emphasized the need to amend laws to take care of the garbage litter on the sandy shores of the State. He further insisted that Goa should seriously take up beach garbage management, infrastructure facilities, tourism information centres, hinterland and rural tourism. Goa should determine its tourism activities vis-à-vis its carrying capacity, he suggested.
Kwaja was also of the view that since one-third of the State’s GDP depends on tourism which is the highest in the country, Goa could take the lead in being a model State for responsible and clean tourism. The central tourism ministry has also offered assistance for training youth in the hospitality trade.