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‘SUSEGAD’ ON THE WATERS

For those hardcore travelers, Goa lovers out there, this is an interesting development taking place in Goa. With the government of Goa planning to develop the inland waterways, there is a whole new exciting area for the tourists to munch upon.

Goan rivers have never been exposed to the tourists to their full potential, but no more, as things are about to change soon.

The Department of Tourism- Goa, Captain of Ports Department and the Public Works Department are expected to work closely to create infrastructure facilitating tourism activities on the Goan Rivers.

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What does this mean to the tourists? Well, that means possibility of travelling on these rivers and exploring the unique flora and fauna of the state. In the year 1999, for the February issue National Geographic Magazine compared the rich tropical biodiversity of Goa to that of Congo and Amazon basin, which is a big deal in itself.

One of the things to get excited about is the possibility of increasing the activity of houseboats on these waters. Although there are operations currently running, they are very few in numbers. The boost from the government can be of immense help to this industry.

Some of the advantages that can easily be enjoyed are, the culture diversity of the land (hinterlands specially) that have not got the exposure they deserve, will have an equal chance to showcase it to the tourist.

Goan culture from the hinterlands is not yet known to the tourists; hence the houseboats can be an easy and a very comfortable mode of transport, to take while travelling to these places.
Many Goans from the hinterlands are involved in the tourism activities in the coastal areas, but if opportunities can be created in the hinterlands this manpower can work close to home.
Environment wise houseboats are appealing because hotels require a small patch of greenery to be cleared. But, in the case of houseboats no such thing takes place. Although number of these boats can be regulated to make sure this activity does not have a negative impact on the environment.

Local craftsmen can show their wares to the tourist, which means house boats, can create a ripple effect in creating other job opportunities.

Produce such as local fruits, vegetables can be made easily available to the tourists. Talk about authentic cuisine, eh?

Given this there might be an ecological impact to consider but, as mentioned earlier if regulated it can be made minimal. Any anthropogenic activity will have a minimal effect on the nature, but compared to affect a resort or a hotel has on the environment this is quite low.
Goa is concretizing too fast in the name of tourism causing it to lose its charm; maybe a venture into this area may create an alternative to the concrete option. “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today”said Malcom X.

Let’s start planning now and preparing for the change that is going to take place in Goa.
‘Susegad’ is the norm in Goa and how better to do it, while staying on a boat. So, hopefully things will pick up and points mentioned in this article will become a reality for the tourist to enjoy it.

Written by: Shailesh Tanpure

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