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- Jetty closure could jettison small businesses
Jetty closure could jettison small businesses
Vendors, restaurant owners worried jetty closure will harm their businesses; Suggest phase wise closure and construction to allow businesses to continue
As the government decides to stop access to the iconic Dona-Paula jetty owing to its structural issues, restaurant owners and small vendors located at the site have expressed fears their businesses will be affected.
The decision comes following a report from the Managing Director of Imagine Panjim Smart City Development Ltd (IPSCDL) recommending the closing of the jetty. Imagine Panjim, entrusted with the task, had in December 2017 suggested to the government to close the jetty in view of the deteriorating state of the structure.
The Dona Paula jetty, also known as ‘Lover’s Paradise’ today stands neglected. The railings have corroded and are broken in many places, posing a threat to visitors. The electrical lamps, too, have stopped functioning.
As Herald visited the jetty and spoke to some of the street vendors along with restaurant owners it was revealed that they are in complete shock following the decision to close the spot cause this could result in them losing their livelihood.
“I was shocked to hear the news that this jetty would be closed for repairs. If the jetty is closed none of the tourists will come here and due to this we would lose our business and there is will be loss of livelihood as we all here are dependent on this small business. If the authorities are closing this place they should either relocate us to another place or the repairs should be done in phases” said Gopal Gaude, a vendor who sells sunglasses at the jetty
Another vendor who sells lime soda at the jetty said “We have been running this business for the last many years and if the jetty closes how will we survive. The government should think about us and our families, either they should relocate us to some other tourist spot until the jetty is repaired. I do not know how much time we have as we have not received any formal letter that we should vacate this place”
Not only street vendors but restaurant owners in that vicinity have too expressed fear and anxiety that their business would have to be closed owing to closure of Dona-Paula jetty.
Karan’s Multi Cuisine Restaurant and Bar, Owner Karan Rokha had this to say “I had just recently started this restaurant on rent basis, if the jetty is closed there will be no tourists coming to this spot and my restaurant business will be severely affected. Along with the rent, we have to also pay salaries to my staff, how it will be possible. I think the government should construct the jetty in phases so that tourists keep coming”
Similarly, another businessman, Om Prakash Dwivedi who runs Hari Om Arts and Crafts store at the jetty said that it will be a massive loss for then if the jetty faces closure.