Goa is planning to promote its rivers to attract more tourists and help transportation within the state.
According to the Business Standard, main rivers including Mandovi, Zuari, Chapora, Sal and the Kushwati, along with several smaller rivers, flow across the state, but are not promoted for tourism purposes and receive few visitors. Under the new plans, the rivers and waterfronts will be developed.
“[The state] government will give priority to waterways and we have scope to develop waterfronts like the Chapora River. From Chapora to Colvale (villages located along the course of the river), we could develop some points [of tourist interest],” Goa’s Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar was quoted saying.
Currently, the state has 650km of viable waterways, and according to Parsekar, an additional 250km can be also utilised if they are adequately dredged and their navigation channels deepened. This would enable more waterways to be used for transport purposes, the minister said.
“We should use our rivers as waterways and further reduce the pressure on our roads. We could also build river jetties in coastal villages and the hinterland so that the pressure created by tourism can be spread across Goa and not just along the beaches,” stated Parsekar, who added that he is now seeking investors to execute the projects.
“Once we have investment, we could have job creation and diversify tourism in the hinterland from the coast.”
Goa attracted 5.3 million tourists in 2015, up 30% compared to the previous year.