Colva is the only beach selected amongst 11 other tourist destination in India to be developed under the Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project by the Ministry of Tourism. Yet, despite over 11 crores allotted for the beautification of this iconic beach, it remains in shambles, especially it’s foot-bridge which posing danger to the tourist walking over it. Meanwhile, GTDC and PWD keep passing the buck.
Colva has the distinction of being the only beach in India to be selected for development under the Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, along with 11 other tourist destinations in India. This selection is not surprising considering that Colva has indeed been the pride of Goa and an iconic landmark of Goa, making it the most visited site in the State.
According to United News India, in April 2018, Colva was the only beach selected under this category for development not only to boost tourism but to up the profile of the local area along with community development.
According to the Times of India, although an amount of 11.67 crores has been allocated under this project to beautify and renovate it, the beach continues to remain in a shabby state, especially the iconic footbridge which has developed holes posing a danger to visitors. The state of disrepair is attributed to the negligence of the authorities, particularly Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) in charge of beautification works.
In January this year itself, TOI had carried a report pointing out that another footbridge was displaying signs of stress, with its steel bars exposed.
Despite the GTDC Manager, Pramod Badami’s promise to have the problem fixed, it continues to remain in a shabby state, although beautification works at the beach had commenced six months ago in January this year.
According to this source, beautification of existing islands, children’s play area, pathways, building parking slots, drainages, and toilet blocks were some of the tasks to be undertaken.
With regard to the bridge that now lies in a precarious condition, GTDC has blamed the Public Works Department (PWD) for the delay and neglect. “The bridge was built by PWD and GTDC has no role in its maintenance. The construction of the new bridge was delayed due to CRZ norms,” said Badami.
However, a PWD Engineer revealed that since the Tourism Department had taken over all the upkeep work of the infrastructure and hence PWD is not responsible for the same, except tarring of the roads.
According to The Goan, in January this year when AAP protested against the poor state of affairs at Colva beach, MLA Churchill Alemao said the development is there for them to see while allaying fears that the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) will not be allowed at the beach area.
As the facts indicate, development has hardly taken place to at this iconic beach, rather like its potholed foot bridge, all promises are falling precariously short.