Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Goa tourism vs Goan hardships

It has been a well debated thought in Goan minds. The state of Goa has surely been a tourist destination for long, since the late sixties. However with the rampant demands of tourism, Goans as citizens of the state seem to have also paid a heavy price for tourism in Goa.

High Living expenses
For one thing, the living expense in Goa has horrified many people from the country, who visit the state for short periods. Prices of vegetables, fish and other commodities have always been at a premium in Goa, compared to other states of the union. The prime reason for this, seems to be the acute demand for these commodities from the tourism sector which has invariably pushed up prices.

It is natural that with more demand, prices tend to shoot up. However this has affected Goan pockets very badly and the government needs to put a check on this artificial inflation existing in Goa, which has thrust the life of the common man to be very expensive. While tourism is welcome, there needs to be a regulation on prices and the flow of commodities to the public, also needs to be moderated. Else, we are heading for chaos inflicted upon by vendors of all hues and colours.

Contaminated wells
The inconvenience of tourism has also extended beyond living expenses and is a cause of nuisance in many other areas. As we now see, due to the hotel industry developing haphazardly, well water has been rendered useless in many parts of Goa, owing to the sewage of these hotels seeping in the springs and rivulets leading to these wells thus endangering human life in Goa.

Also more housing is necessisated for the employees of these hotels from outside goa thereby burdening the existing resources.

Water Shortages
While Goa has always been known to be an abode of clean drinking water and water abundance being our strength, that strength seems to be waning with shortages of public tap water in many places in Goa as a direct fallout of the oversized requirement of water of the hotels in Goa. Besides their in house requirement, their gardens and swimming pools gulp plenty of water, denying Goans their share of the natural resource.

Step-motherly treatment
Some restaurants in Goa are another big let-down for Goans in many places as restaurant owners as well as waiters in restaurants, treat Goans with near contempt simply by presumption that Goan patronage generates lesser income. Goans therefore feel like second class citizens in their own state because of the irresponsible behavior of some restaurants and their policies.

Traffic congestions
The pleasure of sightseeing in Goa by tourists has also been at the expense of inconveniencing Goans at many places in Goa where tourists flock in large numbers bringing with them buses, coaches and cars of Indian tourists creating acute traffic congestion at various places hindering the passage of people residing in colonies nearby or simply blocking vehicular traffic. This nuisance needs to be removed on a war footing and the government needs to make alternate arrangements in nearby open spaces to accommodate such parking.

In short, the government of Goa needs to address all the issues affecting Goans with respect to tourism and take preventive measures to avoid confrontations. Surely we do not want an ugly agitation in Goa against tourism next. But does the government of Goa have the foresight and the will to understand the Goan?

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