Kavlem sarpanch Rajesh Kavlekar has requested chief minister Pramod Sawant to hand over the complex to the panchayat for reconstruction and maintenance, if the tourism department cannot do the needful.
“Proper infrastructure with modern amenities is inevitable to attract tourists. We have requested the chief minister to hand the project over to us and we will do the needful,” Kawlekar said.
The complex has gathered dust for the past decade. Huge trees have grown up in the complex area. The dormitories, restaurant and toilet blocks are in a pathetic condition due to the utter neglect on the part of the department. The complex was constructed 20 years ago and after using it for 10 years, the building now lies in ruins.
The complex was built in 1997 and was inaugurated on 19 December 1997 by then deputy chief minister Wilfred D’Sa and then Marcaim MLA Shripad Naik.
Although the panchayat had written to Tourism Department several times before concerning this matter, and despite Kavlem being a tourist spot the government has failed to renovate or repair the complex. The dormitories of the complex have now turned into a den for liquor parties and anti-social activities.
Kavlem sarpanch demanded that either Tourism Department renovate the project or construct new one or handover the project land to the panchayat to utilise the area for fish market, parking and even for garbage disposal plant.
The Kavlem sarpanch added that the CM has assured him that the proposal would be taken into consideration. Sarpanch also suggested that the project could be renovated under the grants of the “Swayampurna Goem” scheme.
Being in the close proximity of a tourist site with temples like Shanthadurga temple in the vicinity, the complex could have generated a lot of revenue.
But now with its current state, tourists coming from far places check for lodging facility beforehand and in the absence of it they visit other places. One taxi driver said that tourists ask to be taken to temples where proper accommodation is available so they could participate in the morning ‘aartis’ (prayers). As a result, most prefer visiting the temples at Mardol or Mangueshi, he said.
Locals, too, have demanded that the complex should be reconstructed as it could result in jobs for local youth including those providing services such as taxis and sightseeing tours.