Goa, a tiny little state, situated on the west coast of India and called as Pearl of East is best known for its scenic virgin beaches and hospitable lovely people but with the times’ everything has changed. Goa is no more the place people from around the world used to think it was, but it is that Goa now what people from the world think it is.
The monster of rampant development has consumed the beauty of Goa to a large extent and that affected the tourism industry of the state to such an extent that year by year the tourist’s inflow kept dropping.
Change is inevitable and it is the sign of progress provided it is done in a systematic manner. A state’s progress not only relies on the Government but also on the society and the hard work they put in to develop their region. Goa, ever since the Liberation in 1961, has come a long way to progress.
It is due to the efforts of the people, whether Goans or non-Goans, that this tiny state has made its mark not only in the country but the world. From what was a small colony under the Portuguese dominance to the most desired destination for millions- and a growing economic hotspot- Goa has come a long way to establish itself.
With all these developments taking place, there has been a lot of changes taken place and yet to take place in the state. Whether it is related to the economy, infrastructure and even the reputation of Goa, there have been several changes in recent decades. But how many of these changes were needed? What more can we focus on? And how have these recent developments affected the state?
Goa has a well-developed social, physical and industrial infrastructure and virtual connectivity. It has an international airport that is in line with its importance as a globally recognised leisure destination. It also has a significant port infrastructure.
It is not a new fact that Goa has a strong market for Tourism and mining, which constitutes for the backbone of the Goan economy. But in recent years, the state has an established base for the pharmaceuticals industry and an emerging destination for knowledge-based industries such as biotechnology and IT. Thus, Goa’s economic growth is now driven by the strong performance of industrial sectors such as mining, tourism and pharmaceuticals.
According to India Brand Equity Foundation, Tourism is the largest segment in the services sector. Goa is traditionally known as a tourist paradise for its natural scenery, beautiful beaches and cultural diversity. During 2017, Goa witnessed arrivals of 6,895,234 domestic tourists and 890,459 foreign tourists. In the first half of 2018, 3.16 million tourists have visited the state. Cashew processing has also been a traditional industry in the state. Apart from this, Goa has been emerging as a manufacturing base for various areas like fertilisers, tyres, tubes, electric machinery etc.
There have been several Government policies and initiatives that have been taken up to improve the various industries in the state and provide facilities for people. As of September 2018, Goa had a total installed power generation capacity of 549.41 MW. Goa is also one of the few states in India to achieve 100 per cent rural electrification.
With all these in the picture, Goa seems to be running ahead in the race to progress. But what we fail to notice is the repercussions of these developments. There are various problems that Goa is facing due to these changes and very little attention is paid to solve them.
Although this is an advantage to its economy, it is eroding the identity of the Indo-Portuguese state. With Russians buying lands and setting up business, many Goans fear that their state would lose its identity and ethnicity due to these migrations.
Secondly, the growing rate of Tourism is producing a strong market for business. Many businessmen set up their restaurants and resorts in Goa. A lot of land, money and labour go into this.
With the rise in constructions for these buildings, large portions of land are taken away and trees are cut down. Not only does this harm the environment, but it takes away shelter from the heads of people belonging to the land.
Apart from this, the pollution caused by the tourist activities is another concern. Goa’s beaches are ripped off their beauty due to the negligence of people using them.
Thirdly, as much as developments are needed; the right area to focus on becomes necessary. It is undoubtedly a proud fact that Goa is developing and progressing in various levels but along with this, it becomes important that this state retains its charm that it is known for. With the growth of business and infrastructure, the beauty of this state which belongs to the beaches and the monuments must be preserved.
The government has come up with tourism policies to protect the resources and promote ecotourism as well as educate the tourist of their responsibilities. Sustainable tourism is on its verge.
Along with this, resource distribution must be paid attention to. Establishments like hotels and resorts often take away the resources that must be rightfully used by the locals. Whether it be electricity, water or even fish; huge establishments lay their hands on resources. This causes unequal distribution and results in resentment of the locals as they cannot use the certain resources that belong to them.
There have been simultaneous developments that have been taking place in recent years. Goa apart from tourism is spreading its reaches to areas of IT industry with the construction of IT parks- with the state also moving ahead in the business field, Goa is now known as one of the emerging places for start-ups. The state is also coming up with various policies for agriculture facilitation.
It is a wonder that such tiny state within a matter of few decades have come so far ahead that it is now competing with leading metropolitan cities. The success of this lies in the hands of the people of Goa, who regardless of their origin have worked hard to bring this state to reach its potential. Goa has yet to see much more developments and it sure does seem that this coastal state has a bright future ahead.