The State government’s ambitious ropeway tourism project continuous to be in limbo, thanks to bureaucratic hurdles during the previous government. The Rs 157-crore approx venture from Campal to Reis Magos was first caught in controversy when the (Corporation of the City of Panaji) CCP refused permission last year arguing it would further congest the capital.
Six months ago in October, the CCP in its ordinary meeting witnessed a stormy discussion when some councilors sought to know if the ropeway project had obtained permission. They pointed out at the report of the soil testing by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) team. Mayor Surendra Furtado then refused granting any permission and his panel proposed that a notice be issued to the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) as a result of which, the project is stalled since then.
The corporation was basically upset that government often bypassed them for any developmental work in the city. “CCP is projected as an agency to clean drains and lift garbage but we have no other powers too. Government is bypassing us on every developmental work proposed in Panjim,” Furtado said.
The problem also seems to arise because of differences between the council backed by MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate-panel and the BJP-led coalition, since 2012.
Speaking to Herald, Furtado said that he stands by the CCP resolution also because the project would have an effect on the senior citizens. “Panjim is already highly congested. We do not want the situation to worsen, and the site where the project is coming up has senior citizens spending their leisure time. They should not be subjected to any inconvenience,” he stated.
Meanwhile, CCP Commissioner Deepak Desai, who had given a nod to the soil testing in contradiction to Furtado, declined to speak on the issue.
As per the proposal in 2015, the government decided that an area measuring around 5,000 sq mtrs of land belonging to Tourism Department and situated behind the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs be leased out to GTDC for 65 years based on the rent to be fixed by the Public Works Department (PWD).
In September 2016, the then cabinet led by Laxmikant Parsekar had approved an agreement with Kashmir-based Menus Adventures Pvt Ltd.
According to the proposal, the completion of the aerial river tramway project will take one year to one-and-a-half years. The SPV officials were not available for comment despite repeated calls by Herald.