In one of the recent development, Goa Tourism has been allotted the funds of rupees 100 crores (99.99 to be precise) for the purpose of Coastal Circuit development under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. According to the sources, the task of the development will be taken forward in the following manner, first of all, the coastal circuit in Bardez and Pernem will be taken up for the development followed by the Tourism infrastructure will be augmented in a big way in coastal areas. After that the proposal for the additional Rs. 100 crore each will be submitted for the River Circuits, Spiritual Circuits and Heritage and Tribal Circuits.
According to the information provided by the sources in the tourism department, Goa Tourism’s coastal circuit proposal for Rs. 99.99 crore under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme has been approved by the Central government, Ministry of Tourism and funds will be allocated to various components for development projects to be undertaken in the first phase along the coastal belt of the state. The Rs 99.99 crore, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) is a record highest allocation received by Goa Tourism since 2010 when it received an amount of Rs 40 crore then said the sources.
The sources have revealed that the Goa state is the first among the seven states in the country to be considered by the center for the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The Central Sectioning and Monitoring Committee under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme at a meeting held in Delhi on 18 March 2016. Some of the projects proposed in Bardez under the coastal circuit development plan include improvement of infrastructure facilities like parking, illumination and providing handicap friendly access 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 Junaswada beach and Mandrem Beach at Pernem, development of MorjimKhind and development of Ashwem beach.
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 wi-fi, safety and security measures and providing tourism signages. Another major component includes the development of Aguada Fort and Jail as a major touristic destination. It will include up-gradation and improvement of the Aguada helipad, Aguada Fort and Aguada Jail, parking, ticketing and bus facilities at Aguada Fort, illumination, seating arrangements, café and a lot more.
While Goa’s typologies cover several facets such as Spiritual, Coastal, Eco-Tourism, Heritage, Backwater, Wellness as well as Tribal Tourism, it was felt that Coastal Tourism and Spiritual Tourism are the most predominant sectors needing more attention in terms of basic infrastructure and creation of a clear circuit. Core requirements such as basic infrastructure around the coastal and spiritual areas, public amenities, and innovative components were accordingly identified and projects accordingly categorized under themes to approach the coastal and spiritual circuits in a holistic manner. While funds have been sanctioned under the coastal circuit, the proposal for funds under the spiritual circuit will be forwarded next to the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
Once executed, the projects will enhance the future prospects of turning the coastal and spiritual circuits into a world class destination for both domestic and international tourists. Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Mr. Dilip Parulekar said, “Goa has procured funds under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme to the tune of Rs. 99.99 crore for the development of coastal circuits. This is only the first phase and we are eyeing more funds in months to come. This will give a big boost to our plans for improving tourism infrastructure under the coastal and spiritual circuits. The Swadesh 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. “We are extremely thankful to the Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Tourism, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and his team of officials, as well as Hon’ble Union Minister for Defence, Mr. Manohar Parrikar for ensuring that Goa is considered for CFA under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. Hope to tap as much as we can under this scheme. We plan to tap as much as we can in the months to come which will give a big boost to tourism infrastructure in the State. I also have to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work put in by the officials of Goa Tourism Development Corporation and the SPV Cell whose year – long efforts have finally borne fruits of the highest CFA funding ever received by Goa for tourism.”
Hon’ble Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), Mr. Nilesh Cabral said, “After disappointment faced in the Smart City project, we are elated with the success achieved by GTDC in obtaining CFA under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. This is due to the tireless efforts of the officials and engineers of the GTDC and SPV of the Corporation. Proposals for additional funding to the tune of Rs 100 crore each will be submitted under river circuits, spiritual circuits and heritage and tribal circuits. Goa Tourism through its consultant Darashaw has prepared project components aimed at improving the public realm surrounding all important touristic destinations. The components have been designed to create additional infrastructure to enhance the future potential for growth of the areas under the circuit. This, in turn, will attract footfalls, create job opportunities and create a sense of pride and ownership for the people as well as put the place on the national and international map as an attractive place for people to congregate and enjoy the culture and diversity of Goa.”
Darashaw & Company Pvt. Ltd., lead consultant Mr. Aalap Bansal informed us that this development proposal, submission, and approval has been achieved in record time. “The Ministry approved it speedily, as the proposal creates infrastructure provisions in the state, and aligns with the Swadesh Darshan scheme’s vision, objective, and mission. The second phase of the Detailed Project Report has been submitted and is under review by the Ministry. The third phase of the report will be finalized and submitted in the coming months. This is exciting and we’re looking forward to experiencing the results of all the innovative conceptualization and ideation.”