‘Queen of beaches’ now home to garbage, strays

Its very easy for GTDC to blame someone for its failure. They are only interested in making media headlines to starting new sure-to-fail ventures and cannot look after what they have.
However keeping Colva beach clean should be the effort of the people, panchyat and government bodies. Till everyone does their little bit, this will only get worse.


Colva beach, known in the past as the longest (25km) and most spectacular of South Goa’s beaches with the finest white sand, had also made it to a Goan song as the ‘queen of the beaches’. Of course all this refers to times and songs way back in the 70s. Today, this same beach is anything but pristine. The same Colva was known as a retreat for Margao’s high society, who would flock here for a ‘change of air’.

Colva now only makes for a sore sight; garbage and litter dotting the beach, stray dogs, haphazard parking, a dirty creek, ice-cream vendors and food carts blocking the entrance to the beach, traffic police idling outside a ram-shackled kiosk, a children’s park that is crying for attention since years, and a tourism department that has not awakened to the spiraling disaster.

The children’s park opposite Colva Residency, the government-managed tourist house, has tall swaying palm trees with plenty of shade for family picnics and outings all through summer.

Somewhere in 2000, the tourism department spruced it up with a play area and also installed benches and garbage bins. Today the area is a mess; swings and see-saws without seats, rust firmly in place, broken benches, an open drain full of plastic bags. Given its condition, it has managed to attract women selling salted fish at the spot.

 A picnic by the coast is not complete without a dip in the sea. Colva, despite its severe degradation, attracts the hordes and the lack of changing rooms and toilets forces women to walk 300m to change or resort to the age-old holding of a large cloth or bedsheets while they change ‘in the open’.
Local MLA Churchill Alemao mentioned the lack of facilities at Colva beach while commissioning overhead high-tension power lines. Alemao said he has apprised the chief minister of the pathetic situation at the beach.
Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) managing director Nikhil Dessai said, “We are not to be blamed for it, we had received Rs 15 crores from the Centre to develop Colva. When we started it, an NGO approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT), and we had to surrender the funds. Now, the entire community is suffering.