23June2017

Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Goans Abroad/ Selling Goa Abroad

Talk of being helpful

Faleiro’s ‘One small step for Goa, one giant leap for Goans’

 Jai Ho Taiwan! Eduardo Faleiro, Commissioner for NRI Affairs, could be off to Taiwan in October on the off chance, he said so himself, he might bump into some Goans there. Good luck to him.

To the best of my knowledge there are two Goans in Tokyo, one of them I know, and is married to a Japanese lady. There’s opportunity there, Boss. Ditto for the Cayman Islands, where I have just discovered there are a bunch of Goans. And as for Goans in Kenya, there are just 2,000 of them according to my sources there. Since they are all Kenyan citizens, I really don’t see how the Indian embassy in Nairobi could be of use to them except to create further obstacles, if for some vague reason it were asked to help. When I travelled to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in 2001, I was informed there that are only four Goan families left in Kisumu, a town on the shores of Lake Victoria on the Kenyan side. In Unguja, the main island of Zanzibar, I could trace and meet one Goan who had a travel agency there. The rest had all migrated. Now, my sources tell me there are barely 1,000 Goans in Tanzania and 200 in Uganda.

These Goans abroad do not need to be reminded about their Goan roots, simply because they will never forget. Their endless supply of Goan sausages, masalas and feni is testimony to their nostalgia for Goa and everything Goan. As for Goans living in Canada and the U.S. for that matter, the cost of a flight to Goa is simply daunting, and so most Goans there prefer to travel to the U.K. and Europe where they have a network of Goans. It’s simply a question of logistics and cost effectiveness. In fact if you are a regular reader of herald2day, you will have noticed that Goan themed restaurants or restaurants serving Goan food are only opened in the U.S. I can’t recall a Goan restaurant being opened in the U.K. I guess for all the obvious reasons.

 

Selling Goa

All hot air

Debate needed

Wonder why your 40 rulers never debate issues in the State Assembly where they are constitutionally bound (leave aside the meaningless oath they take) to discuss issues that affect the public? Instead they just score debating points against each other and real issues get sidetracked. Here’s another thought. If they did oblige you their game would be up, wouldn’t it? And you would know because you can see through their games. That’s why the BJP waits till the crap hits the ceiling and become the heroes going by the media play they get by bringing up a ‘burning’ issue in the assembly. That the media focuses on non-issues is another matter altogether. Often, a press conference timed just before the Assembly session, adds fuel to the fire. That is why no Assembly debate will ever be had on why Churchill Alemao wants the new State of Kargoa, i.e., a merged Karwar and Goa. Or perhaps a debate on how he finally got on to the home lane on the issue of four or six laning the NH from Panjim to Margao; or, if it should be extended to Karwar! After all, Churchill, who is tipped to be the first chief minister of Kargao, did say ‘take me seriously’ outside the assembly not inside. Or, a debate on whose side the Dhavlikar Brothers and Vishwajit Rane are on, rather how many sides they are on. Because whichever way they might want to interpret voters’ rights in Sankhali, you have a constitutional right to know which way they swing. But, these debates are never going to happen in the Assembly. So, let’s do it here.

 

But debate this for Godsakes

The GTDC I fear could turn into an ogre, if let out of its cage unfettered. It was turned into a dangerously big corporation when all the properties owned by the Tourism Department were transferred to it. Why, for example, did the Tourism Department or GTDC sign a 21 year-lease agreement for the Terekhol Fort Heritage for a rental of Rs 1,05,000 per month with a Harkishan Ajwani. Why commit to as far away as 2023 in as early 2002. Where is the commercial sense in this? And will the honchos who bid for GTDC’s land because they are money driven, not demand 99-year-old leases in return for the crores they will invest. All considered why lease out the Old Goa Residency restaurant for a mere Rs 22,950 per month. In fact, GTDC has literally hundreds of leased out shops whose lease agreements must be researched and revaluated for their real potential. And when I say real potential, I mean potential to the tourism industry which appears to occupy the minds of the people who run the GTDC these days. When I last checked, GTDC had not leased out its cafeteria and land at Pomburpa. Earlier, when it had, it fixed a lease hire of Rs 2,144! It has not leased out its land with a restaurant at Vagator because of a dispute over the availability of water there. Since it had earlier fixed a lease rent of Rs 1,68,096, it translates into losing exactly that kind of revenue. But, this GTDC will not study issues like those described here, on the contrary it is rubbing its hands in glee at the prospects of the ‘financial’ opportunity in the property it has in its possession.

Should not the GTDC lease its hotels to industry players who have the expertise and money to back their expertise? After all, there literally is not a hotel group in India that is not looking to buy, is buying hotels or taking them over on lease. GTDC has 12 hotels with a total room capacity of 529, and in the past when it wanted, it did privatise three hotels in Mollem, Terekhol and Pernem with a total room capacity of 38.

 

This land is our land

Calangute 3,769 sq mt meant for developing a shopping complex.

Calangute 4,583.10 sq mt meant to expand Calangute Residency.

Calangute 1,850 sq mt meant to construction a resort.

Calangute 22,850 sq mt to construct dormitory, car/bus park, cottages.

Calangute 22,081 sq mt meant for providing basic amenities.

Calangute 276 sq mt meant for constructing toilet.

Baga 29,925 sq mt Fatima D’Sa when she was GTDC chairperson had her own plans for it.

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