Coastal erosion in Goa a threat to sunshine state's tourism economy

By Sanjay Borkar

Panaji, Mar 19 (IANS): Fearing sea erosion could become a major threat to the Tourism Industry of Goa, Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao has moved a Private Member Resolution recommending the government to appoint a high-level inquiry commission to investigate the coastal soil erosion in Goa.

Earlier, Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte had said that sea erosion has become a major threat for the tourism industry, which needs to be tackled with new concepts.

Ruling MLAs from the coastal belt had raised the issue and had drawn the attention of the government towards it.

Speaking to IANS, Yuri Alemao said that it is important that measures be taken to protect the coastal area from sea erosion.

The resolution moved by Yuri Alemao states: "This House strongly recommends to the government to immediately set up a high-level inquiry Commission under Retired High Court Judge to investigate the coastal soil erosion in Goa.

The Commission should also study the Report of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) identifying both districts of Goa as landslide-affected.

The Commission should also be given the mandate to study the report of ISRO revealing that Goa lost around 15.2 hectares of land due to coastal erosion in 10 years.

Even Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte had said that coastal erosion had become a major challenge.

"There is the challenge of sea erosion. It is a threat (to the tourism industry) the way it is taking place. Beaches are getting washed out. Though we give permission to erect shacks, however they are not able to occupy a longer distance (in permissible limit), as beaches have washed out," Khaunte had said.

He said that it was very important to think about how we stop this sea erosion.

"We can adopt technologies to ensure that we get our surface back. Techno-commercial concepts can be adopted with the help of the environment and other departments," he said.

BJP legislator Kedar Naik had also expressed concern that the European tourists have stopped visiting famous Coco beach due to soil erosion, and hence locals are facing issues related to sources of income.

He had said that this beach had washed out and had demanded that the beach be saved by taking measures.

BJP MLA Kedar Naik had raised the issue of Coco beach, which is believed to be a good source of income to several locals.

"The tender process for this work has been done and I think work should start very soon," Naik told IANS.

Coco beach is at a distance of 10 km from the capital city Panaji in North Goa and is preferred by foreign tourists.

Speaking about the issue, Water Resource Minister Subhash Shirodkar had said: "It is proposed to protect the eroded Coco beach for a length of 394m by providing concrete blocks revetment and accordingly, an estimate has been prepared for which Administrative Approval has been accorded."

According to Shirodkar, Coco beach has been severely eroded and the rubble stone revetment along the beach is in dilapidated condition.

Shirodkar had said that steps are being taken to protect beaches from erosion.

AAP MLA Venzy Viegas, representing Benaulim constituency in South Goa, said that his constituency suffered most due to sea erosion.

"There are five beaches in my constituency, where sea erosion is taking place. Most of the beaches here are eroded. We have discussed various methods to protect coastal areas, however the government is not able to settle even with one single method," Viegas said.

"These methods are not for lifetime. They last for a certain period and then we have to work on it again. Our government is only waiting and waiting, probably with the thought that something will happen," Viegas said.

He said that WRD Minister Subhash Shirodkar had visited his constituency to check on sea erosion.

"But the government doesn't have the intent to protect the environment," he said.



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Title: Coastal erosion in Goa a threat to sunshine state's tourism economy

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