Goa beaches to get free WiFi

Goa’s beaches will soon been equipped with free public WiFi, CCTV coverage as well as public amenities such as the restroom blocks equipped with lockers, changing room and showers with funds from the central government’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

Aguada Jail too is in for a makeover and a fresh look with the government setting aside ₹34 crore for the project.

Announcing this at a press conference, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said Goa has received approval for its proposal of the ₹99.98 crore under the Central Government’s Swades Darshan Scheme for developing a coastal circuit.

“Goa was the first among seven States to be considered for funding under the Swades Darshan Scheme by the Centre sanctioning and monitoring committee at a meeting held on March 18,” Parulekar announced.

The State through the Goa Tourism Development Corporation had sent detailed proposals for its tourism circuits the first of which has received a final approval.

“The project components also include providing infrastructure at various coastal areas in the State like tourist information centers at Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Morjim and Ashwem, public amenities at 10 beaches (37 blocks), providing CCTVs and WiFi, safety and security measures and providing tourism signages,” Parulekar said.

Another major component includes development of Aguada Fort and Jail as a major tourist destination. It will include upgradation and improvement of the Aguada helipad, Aguada Fort and Aguada Jail, parking, ticketing and bus facilities at Aguada Fort, illumination, seating arrangements, café etc.

The government has set aside ₹34-crore for the development of Aguada fort and jail besides ₹3.60 crore for CCTV and WiFi and ₹16.13 crore for public amenities like toilets and changing rooms.

Besides this the funds will be spent on developing facilities like parking, illumination and providing handicap friendly access along the circuit route, which includes the Bardez and Pernem coast ranging from the parking lot to the beach at Calangute, beautification of the Calangute market circle and taxi stand, construction of a parking lot near the annex building for buses and two-wheelers near Calangute Residency, illumination of the stretch from Calangute to Baga, construction of parking lot near the beach, a garden on Department of Tourism land at Candolim and development of tourism property at Anjuna.

In Pernem, the projects include providing handicap friendly access and illumination across the creek at Junas waddo beach and Mandrem beach, development of Morjim Khind and development of Ashwem beach.

South Goa will be provided for when future circuits receive sanction.

Besides this, Tourist Information Centres and Tourism Signages will be set up at the estimated cost of ₹5-crore while the solid waste management will come at a cost of ₹3-crore.

The Swades Darshan scheme is envisaged under the Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of the Ministry of Tourism with the aim to fund projects that fall under the gamut of touristic potential due to its history, heritage, cultural importance as well as innovation.

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