MARGAO: Opposition to the Jetty Policy 2022 has been gaining momentum across the Salcete coastal belt in the villages of Betalbatim, Benaulim, Carmona and Cavelossim, where people have raised a common demand for extending the deadline that was given
by the Tourism Department for submitting objections and suggestions.
While in some villages, large-scale meetings have been organised, in other villages, local groups consisting of fishermen, activists and environmentalists have been deliberating on the Jetty Policy and are planning to submit their feedback to the government.
However, they criticised the Tourism Department for providing limited information and felt that the deadline of 15 days from September 13, to submit their objections and suggestions is a tough task and that more time is required to create awareness amongst the public. They also questioned the 500-word limit and said this is not enough as their objections are detailed and cover many aspects.
They also said village gram sabhas should also be discussing such an important issue and given that there are various processes involved before a gram sabha can be convened,
the deadline should be
The traditional fishermen in particular recall that they had opposed such concepts in the past as they believe it will impact their means of earning a livelihood and that they are against any government initiatives, as they are never taken into confidence.
Green activists on the other hand, expressed concern if all environment impact assessment (EIA) reports had been done and called for the government authorities to come forward to respond to their queries and apprehensions.
As per the Tourism Department, the main objective of the Jetty Policy is to regulate the introduction and operation of any passenger cruise vessel or operators that will be using the existing or upcoming jetties proposed by any department for tourism purposes.
The draft also proposes to regulate Passenger Cruise Operations in Goa by creating fair business opportunities for all vessel operators in relation to the use of government-owned jetties. “The jetty policy envisages development of suitable infrastructure like jetties, floating pontoons, jetty terminal building
and other ancillary tourism infrastructure, so as
to ensure balancing of interests of tourists and stakeholders and for smooth, professional and safe conduct of cruise tourism activities,” said Tourism Director Nikhil Desai in the public notice.