Tourist info counter shut!


The first sight or experience for a tourist arriving at the Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) bus stand in the capital is not a very pleasant one. No. It is not the filth or shabily maintained bus-stand that we are talking of, but this 'Tourist Information Counter' which has its shutters down all the time.

The issue has been now taken up by consumer rights group GOACAN as part of its ongoing Consumer Rights Awareness Fortnight. In a complaint, it has expressed concern and disappointment at this "negligence" of the tourism department, which incidentally is headquartered a stone's throw away from the KTC bus-stand. 

Worse, a notice which reads "Counter No 5 to Help You" at the entrance of the Bus Stand is still standing while the Counter itself is shut!

The NGO has demanded action against those in the tourism department responsible for this negligence and asked Deputy Director Kuldeep U Arolkar to act.

It has also questioned the tourism department which is participating in the ITB (Internationale Tourism Böurse) in Berlin scheduled from March 5 to 7 for claiming  that its pavilion will showcase innovative initiatives aimed at sustainability and community empowerment,  underscoring its commitment to responsible tourism practices.  The NGO has also warned that it will file a formal complaint under the Consumer Protection Act if no action is taken in the matter before the World Consumer Day on March 15.

Embarrassment for CM?

It may be done and dusted on paper but the whole episode of the North Goa District Mineral Fund (DMF) allocating Rs 3 crore to Sai Nursing Institute in Sanquelim but withdrawing it like a child caught with hands in the cookie jar, will surely come as a bit of an embarrassment to  Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. The Institute based in Sanquelim is linked to him.

Earlier this week the governing council of the fund withdrew the 'administrative approval' for this allotment of Rs 3 crore to the Institute which is run by a society founded by Sawant. 

The whole episode leaves us to wonder whether this reversal of allotment of the fund would ever have happened, if like we said earlier, the 'child' was not caught with hands in the DMF's cookie jar back in January when the Bombay High Court had sought the State government's explanation over the fund allocation and the basis for it.

The DMF is a fund meant exclusively for the welfare of those residing in areas affected by mining. The governing council had approved the fund allocation to the institute in March last year for the nursing institute which was questioned by NGO Goa Foundation through the petition. 

Eve's revenge in South?

Front-runner for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) ticket for the South Goa seat, former deputy chief minister Chandrakant (Babu) Kavlekar it appears is stung by 'Eve's Revenge' thanks to the plug pulled by Social Welfare Minister Subhash Phaldesai who still seems to be nursing a grudge against the Kavlekars from the 2022 assembly polls, when Kavlekar's wife Savitri rebelled and contested against him in Sanguem.

If our sources are to be believed, Babu was all set to be declared the candidate by the BJP in the first list itself but a section within the party raised the banner of revolt. Things came to a pass and Phaldesai was summoned to Delhi to resolve the matter. Rather than resolve it, the Sanguem politician is said to have added fuel to fire which prompted the party to delay the decision and now come up with its 'woman for South Goa' ploy. 

Ploy or not, Babu and the rest in the fray will have to wait and watch if this stunt of the BJP to publicly scout for a woman candidate will actually culminate with the party declaring a woman leader as its candidate or one of them will get the nod.

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