All India Congress Committee senior observer in-charge of Goa assembly polls P Chidambaram kept his cards close to the chest and did not specifically respond to the overtures made by the Trinamool Congress for a broad multi-party alliance to take on the ruling BJP.
“I read about it in the papers. I have no official word. But I will wait for an official word,” Chidambaram said in his initial reaction at a press conference in Panaji.
He later said that if a party was keen on offering support to the Congress to defeat the BJP, it would not make sense to reject it.
“The Congress is capable of defeating the BJP, but if any party wishes to support the Congress, why should I say no? Let us see what the official offer is,” Chidambaram said.
On January 7, Moitra had tweeted: “Rest assured, we the AITC will do everything possible to defeat BJP in Goa-@Goaforwardparty, @INCGoa @AITC4Goa and #MGP. @Mamataofficial has done it in past & will not shy away from walking extra mile in Goa too”.
When asked about the hostile relationship between the TMC and the Congress in the lead up to the polls, “To ensure participation of the local community, it is necessary to try and minimise all the negative impacts caused due to tourism development like environmental degradation, social uncertainty, migrant labour influx, and problems arising out of insufficient infrastructural development,” it added.
It points out that for the tourism industry to be sustainable, cooperation of all stakeholders is a must. “Tourism must not degrade the surrounding environment; it should maintain the socio-cultural identity of the host community, and provide fair economic returns to all stakeholders,” the study states.
Tourism has led to environmental degradation, overcrowding, noise pollution and there is a visible loss of the coastline due to sand erosion,” it observes.
“Most of the local residents perceive that uncontrolled tourism and resultant tourism infrastructure expansion has led to the destruction of the coastal environment, increased pollution in all forms and spoilt the scenic beauty of the coastline,” the study added.
Research for the study was based on responses to detailed questionnaires from 180 respondents.
The study also revealed that those who believe that tourism brought about social and cultural ills to Calangute outnumbers those who do not.
“Analysing the data on the attitude of local people on social and cultural sustainability... shows the proportion of people who perceive tourism as having a negative impact on the social and cultural life of locals is more than those who disagree with such statements,” the study said.
“While there is a proportion of locals who feel economic sustainability of tourism is beneficial, a similar proportion of locals perceive no benefit. The results indicate that coastal tourism has a negative impact on the environment and society and its impact on the coastal regional economy is mixed,” it said.
80 per cent of the respondents want Goa to be a clean and safe destination, 77 per cent sought TGHE preservation of natural resources and government incentives for better water and waste management by tourism businesses, while 64 per cent residents of the village have said that improving the quality and affordability of services in tourism areas is crucial for sustainable tourism development.