Goa tourism industry threatened by coastal erosion

 Tuesday, March 21, 2023 


A Private Member Resolution has been moved by Goa Opposition Leader Yuri Alemao fearing sea erosion could become a major threat to the Tourism Industry of Goa. He has urged the State government to create a high-level investigation committee to study coastal soil erosion in Goa.

IANS cited Yuri Alemao as saying that it is critical to take measures to preserve the coastal area from sea erosion.

The resolution moved by Yuri Alemao states, “This House strongly recommends to the government to immediately set up a high-level inquiry Commission under Retired High Court Judge to investigate the coastal soil erosion in Goa.

The Commission should also look at the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) report, which identifies both districts of Goa as landslide-affected.

The Commission should also be granted the authority to investigate the ISRO report, which revealed that Goa lost 15.2 hectares of land owing to coastal erosion in ten years.

Previously, Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte stated that marine erosion has become a big danger to the tourism sector, which must be addressed with fresh ideas.

“There is the challenge of sea erosion. It is a threat (to the tourism industry) the way it is taking place.

Beaches are getting washed out. Though we give permission to erect shacks, however they are not able to occupy a longer distance (in permissible limit), as beaches have washed out,” Khaunte had said.

“We can adopt technologies to ensure that we get our surface back. Techno-commercial concepts can be adopted with the help of the environment and other departments,” he further stated.

The matter was highlighted by ruling MLAs from the coastal belt, who brought it to the attention of the administration.

BJP Legislator Kedar Naik brought up the topic of Coco Beach, which is thought to be a valuable source of income for many communities. He voiced worry that European tourists have stopped visiting the famed Coco beach owing to soil degradation, causing residents to face income-related challenges. He claimed that the beach had washed out and requested that it be rescued by taking steps.

“The tender process for this work has been done and I think work should start very soon,” Naik told IANS.
Coco beach is at a distance of 10 km from the capital city Panaji in North Goa and is preferred by foreign tourists.

Speaking about the issue, Water Resource Minister Subhash Shirodkar had said, “It is proposed to protect the eroded Coco beach for a length of 394m by providing concrete blocks revetment and accordingly, an estimate has been prepared for which Administrative Approval has been accorded.”

Shirodkar claims that Coco Beach has been significantly degraded and that the rubble stone revetment around the shore is in disrepair but efforts are being made to prevent beaches from erosion.

AAP Legislator Venzy Viegas, who represents the Benaulim seat in South Goa, stated that coastal erosion has harmed his constituency the most.

“There are five beaches in my constituency, where sea erosion is taking place. Most of the beaches here are eroded. We have discussed various methods to protect coastal areas, however the government is not able to settle even with one single method,” Viegas said.

“These methods are not for lifetime. They last for a certain period and then we have to work on it again. Our government is only waiting and waiting, probably with the thought that something will happen,” Viegas said.

He said that WRD Minister Subhash Shirodkar had visited his constituency to check on sea erosion. “But the government doesn’t have the intent to protect the environment,” he said.

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