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Politicians View Dirty Picture On Calangute Beach

07 June 2012

Candolim: Following a report on the filthy garbage conditions on Calangute beach which appeared in TOI on Tuesday, tourism minister Dilip Parulekar immediately phoned Calangute MLA Michael Lobo to get more details and later visited the beach to see for himself the garbage situation in Calangute and find a solution to the problem.

Parulekar is taking steps to involve the village panchayats of Calangute and Candolim in the waste management of the beaches since the Calangute-Candolim stretch is the most visited tourist area in Goa. More than 50% of all the shacks allotted by the department of tourism in Goa are erected on this beach belt. But because of administrative and procedural reasons, the government has been unable to appoint a contractor to collect the garbage generated by these shacks. Garbage from the interior areas of these villages is handled by the village panchayats. It is now proposed that, as an exception, the village panchayats will also collect the garbage from the shacks, in these two villages.

In the absence of any garbage clearance from the shacks, most shack operators simply dump their garbage in the bushes behind the shacks, while others bury or burn the waste and some secretly dump their waste anywhere.

Lobo also said that he has asked Parulekar to change the shack policy to facilitate this since as per the present policy the tourism department has to clear the garbage. "From this coming season shack operators will have to buy two big bins, one for wet waste and one for dry waste to be kept for each shack. It will be part of the licencing terms and the shack-operator will have to show the receipt proving purchase of these dust-bins before he is allotted a shack," Lobo said. Parulekar has promised to consider the proposal.

The state government is considering a Union tourism ministry proposal for a 3m wide walking pathway on the entire beach stretch from Aguada to Baga. This pathway is planned on the government-owned beach land behind the shacks and is to be made of an environmentally-friendly material. The pathway will also enable tourists to access changing rooms, toilets and showers being planned at intervals of every few hundreds metres on the beach.

Besides it will also be easier for workers to collect garbage from the shacks. "All this will enable us to make the area a world-class tourist destination," says Lobo. Sarpanch of Calangute Anna Marie D'Souza, panch member Joseph Sequeira besides others also accompanied Parulekar and Lobo on their visit to the beach.