Colva gets a spruce-up,tourism dept brickbats

Instead of waiting for the department to get its act together its best if the locals organise themselves and take charge of their own

With the Tourism Department turning a blind eye to the pathetic condition of the Colva beach and the surroundings, Colvekars on Monday stepped in to stem the rot by clearing the waste accumulated over the last several days.Initiated by Colva Sarpanch Menino Fernandes and panch member Calvert Gonsalves, the villagers along with workers went about cleaning the beach square and the coconut grove – the favourite resting place of the visitors, mostly Goans.

That s not all. The panchayat body has now decided to knock the doors of the High Court seeking directions to the government and the authorities to keep the most preferred tourist destinations clean and hygienic. “Local villagers had no option but to step in as the Tourism Department and officials have completely ignored Colva beach. When the beach is being visited by thousands of people from across the country, we cannot allow it to be infested with litter and waste,” Colva Sarpanch Menino Fernandes told The Goan.He pointed out that though the government-appointed beach-cleaning contractor is supposed to clean not just the beach, but the beach square and the coconut grove as well, the authorities have failed to impress upon the latter to do so.Menino said that the villagers will continue the initiative in the interest of the village, even though the beach square does not come under the jurisdiction of the Colva Panchayat.Panch member Calvert Gonsalves said, “The high-mast lighting at the beach square has not been functioning for days now. It is surprising that none of the authorities have deemed fit to get the lamps repaired,” he said, while taking a dig at the authorities for not replacing the sodium lamps with LED lights.The villagers action came after the local media highlighted the plight of the beach square.