Another money making, environment destroying project. Have the locals even been heard?
The State government’s plan to develop River Chapora circuit may have encountered opposition in certain quarters, but it’s an ambitious plan to develop the river for eco-friendly tourism activities and inland water transport.
The government has set up a committee – River Chapora Development Committee – under the chairmanship of Captain of Ports to oversee the project, which has members from various other departments like the fisheries, river and navigation, tourism, finance, Goa State Pollution Control Board, Directorate of Panchayats, etc.
The government has proposed to develop seven locations along the river front, which will start from the mouth of River Chapora up to Colvale Bridge covering a distance of around 13 kms.
The initial cost of the project has been estimated at around Rs 1,000 crore.
The government has appointed Master & Associates, a Mumbai-based company as project management consultants of the project.
Sources disclosed that the government has plans to carry out development broadly in five specific areas connected with inland water transport system and suggested cable car system: (1) marina and ferry terminal, (2) tourist village and fisherman’s wharf, (3) museum and hotel complex, (4) aquarium, sea world and bird park and (5) adventure sports island along the route.
“We are at a very initial stage…studying about the plan and preparing a techno-feasibility report to develop River Chapora,” said James Braganza, Captain of Ports and Chairman of the River Chapora Development Committee.
“The committee appointed by the government is conducting studies and speaking to various stakeholders like the local panchayats in the area,” he added.
As of now, the consultants have projected seven main features along the entire route of the River Chapora: Reception centres at Chapora and Colvale, boat terminal at Morjim, tree top hotel at Parsem, Goan village at Agarwaddo, aquarium at Tuem, naval museum cum hotel at Tuem and water sports activity at Colvale.
Almost eight panchayats – Morjim, Agarwada-Chopdem, Parsem, Tuem, Siolim-Marna, Oxel, Camurlim and Colvale – in Mandrem, Siolim and Tivim constituencies come under the proposed plan.
All three are represented by the BJP MLAs with Mandrem represented by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Siolim by Water Resource Minister Dayanand Mandrekar and Tivim by Kiran Kandolkar.
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