Goa Forward Party (GFP) inquired on Sunday if residents would gain from the tourism department’s jetty policy. Vijai Sardesai, the party’s president, investigated further about the state government’s willingness to split the money with the local panchayats.
Sardesai made it clear that he considered the jetty policy as a move towards the implementation of offshore casinos in other regions of Goa, even though he acknowledged that river transportation may reduce traffic congestion.
“I feel some issues remain ambiguous. Once a cruise terminal comes into existence, how long will it take for offshore casinos to mushroom in other rivers across Goa?,” Sardesai was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Sardesai questioned the administration whether it had information on the number of Goans engaged in the regional cruise industry to support his suspicions. He further emphasized that while giving licenses for cruise ships, jetty operations, or for jobs generated by the sector, the government has not shown a preference for locals.
According to Sardesai, his party applauds the priority being placed on river transportation, which is consistent with the goals set forward by renowned architect Charles Correa. He claimed that Mormugao Port should be promoted as a cruise ship terminal rather than a coal terminal if the state administration is concerned about water transportation and cruise tourism.
Here are the questions that were raised by the Goa Forward Party:
- Why are local stakeholders such as the fishing communities and the panchayats excluded from the jetty policy?
- Why does GEL receive 2% of each ticket sold?
- Why are hotels, travel agencies, and booking websites prohibited from buying large quantities of tickets at a discounted rate?
- Why is it not specified in the policy that Goans should be given preference when jetty operations and cruise boat licences are issued?