Cabral’s arrogance shown yet again contrary to the local peoples wishes
projects/articleshow/53143761.cmsurism Development Corporation (GTDC), flagged off many new tourism-related services last season, but they could not take off due to opposition by locals, while a few got stuck for want of relevant permissions.
The GTDC intends to kickstart them afresh when the tourist season takes off in October.
Hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides and an amphibian bus service were launched during the last tourism season and plans were afoot to start a seaplane service before the conclusion of the tourist season. GTDC could not proceed further due to delayed permissions.
The new services were launched to target high-end tourists. GTDC will have to wait for the next season to start them and check the response. Nilesh Cabral, GTDC chairman, who pushed hard for new tourist services, was dismayed over the delay in the launch of a sea plane service, said they would now look at the new season to kickstart them.
A tour operator, who did not want to be named, said it would have been better if those services – hot air balloon or helicopter services were located in North Goa for better visibility, as it has a larger inflow of tourists.
The first choice of GTDC for launching – whether hot air balloon rides or helicopter service – has been North Goa, but it was compelled to move its new services toSouth Goa following opposition by the locals.
A helicopter service was launched from Aguada, putting to use a ready government-owned helipad. But, the plan was shelved on the third day of the operation, due to stiff opposition by some locals, who were led by former Calangute MLA Agnelo Fernandes. Calangute MLA Michael Lobo had extended his support to the agitators. A shack owner from Calangute said it was foolish to oppose new services. “We lost potential business. What’s the logic in those protests?”
A tourism official said they are apprehensive to start anything new now because of the protests by locals. “You never know who will start protesting,” he said. Nonetheless, he said, whatever services had been announced last season, will continue after a reality check.