Every New Year, we make resolutions about certain unhealthy things we’re not going to do. We make these resolutions in good faith and with lots of conviction, at the time, that we will get them done. Goa, as a state, should make some resolutions too. Especially when it comes to sorting out social issues that are plaguing us incessantly.
Goa’s New Year Resolutions
1 – Resolve to put meters on every taxi in the state
It’s been a major battle in the last few years to get every taxi in Goa, metered up to avoid visitors to the state being cheated. Sadly, neither the war nor the battle has been won and this has been dragging on with no end in sight. Approximately two years ago, the transport authorities ordered all taxis to get digital meters installed. This was met with major agitation from the taxi operators and resulted in taxi strikes across the state which in turn left tourists stranded. It also crippled the state on the transportation front as the taxi drivers stopped at nothing and attacked private vehicles as well as local buses on the street.
This has been going on long enough and people have also reached their limit on the toleration of such nonsense. It needs to stop and the government really needs to get into gear and resolve the issue before the state loses it’s reputation entirely.
2 – Resolve the Mhadei Water Dispute
The Mandovi River, also known as Mahadayi or Mhadei river, is described as the lifeline of Goa. With its origins in the Western Ghats from a cluster of 30 springs, the river flows for 52 kilometres through the state and an additional 29 kilometres through Karnataka.
The sharing of the waters of this river is a cause of dispute between the governments of Karnataka and Goa. The Karnataka government proposes to divert some water from the Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha river basin as part of the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project. The Mahadayi Water Tribunal (Mhadei Water Tribunal) has to decide on the sharing of this river’s waters between Karnataka and Goa. You can read more about it here.
Again, this is an issue that needs a resolution soon and one that should be fair to both parties involved so that no one loses out.
3 – Resolve the major issues faced by the Tourism sector
Tourism has been the mainstay of revenue for the state for more years than most can count. With its gorgeous beaches and rich history and culture and welcoming locals, it’s not difficult to see why. There was a time when Goa was a beloved holiday destination not just for domestic but for international tourists as well. Unfortunately, in the last 10 – 15 years, the state of tourism has hit an all-time low.
The Goa government is clearly looking at quantity over quality tourism and this is reflecting on everything related to the industry. We have low-class tourists visiting in busloads that can’t afford hotels so they camp in the open and do all their business there as well. Tourist attractions aren’t being maintained. Restaurants and higher-end hotels have become more expensive as compared to previous years. The atmosphere has just become uncomfortable in general.
4 – Resolve the problem of garbage in Goa
With the hordes of people visiting and also settling in the state, garbage collection and disposal is now a major issue in Goa. We have no proper garbage disposal plants and the existing machinery used for segregation is in a dilapidated state. Any money allotted for purchase o the new machinery or even to set up such plants usually goes missing and is never recovered. People have tried their best to ‘team up and clean up Goa’ but as this has been a volunteer programme, the response hasn’t been great.
A resolution to solve this problem in a more efficient way needs to be worked out or the state will soon be buried under tons of garbage that no one can dig themselves out from under.
5 – Resolve to not become a communal state
At a time when everyone is easily offended by everything that is said or not said, done or not done, its difficult to keep a cool head. Racism of all kinds and communal disharmony, in general, have become more and more prominent in the last few years. The country is now filled with pockets of such social issues that are threatening to explode or have already done so.
Goa is still relatively calm when it comes to these problems. Let’s make a resolution, as a state, to never turn into an angry volcano of such negative emotions lest we explode and create a place from which no one can rebuild or recover.
We just need to try and keep these resolutions, unlike the other ones we make as individuals which never seem to manifest with positive outcomes. Each of us really needs to do our bit this New Year.
So from ItsGoa, wish you a very Happy New Year!