Golf courses, resorts, parks, casinos...

| 26 June 2001 22:17 IST

At least two golf courses, seven resorts, four food parks, few recreational and amusement parks and even more offshore casinos are on anvil, if one believes that Goa's tourism master plan will come true.

The plan suggests to develop six new tourist centres, little away from Goa's golden beaches, acquiring around 3.60 crore sq mts of land at different locations in the state - coastal, midland as well as hinterland.

It includes business-cum-recreational centre near Panaji, water sports centre near river Chapora in North Goa, techno-recreational centre near Margao, leisure city in southernmost Canacona taluka, health tourism centre near Selaulim dam and eco-tourism centre near Bondla wild life sanctuary.

Except around 10 million sq mts of land for Panaji centre, the rest five centres will have to houses in a minimum 5 million sq mts of area. Each centre will also be equipped with a five star resort, providing around 200 to 300 rooms and other luxuries.

A major 18-hole golf course will be part of a Leisure City, proposed in 60 hectares of land near Canacona railway station, besides a 50-room sea resort as well as craft bazar and food park, along the western national highway.

A techno-recreational centre would come up near Margao, the south district town, housing a Science City, an amusement park and a food park. Selaulim dam area in the deep South is proposed to be developed as health tourism centre, with a nature park and a botanical garden, a health resort and world class hospital with 300 beds.

The badly managed Bondla sanctuary is being planned to develop as a eco-tourism centre, by also building eco-friendly rest houses and specialised food restaurant, besides a resort. Wild life safari through the reserve forest would be its prime attraction.

The water park project along the banks of river Chapora, flowing through interior villages near famous beaches of Calangute, Baga etc, is proposed to be equipped also with a food park and a water sports training centre-cum-hostel.

The business-cum-recreational centre near capital city of Panaji however is a huge project. It houses a business-cum-convention centre, a small golf course with clubs and restaurants, a floating restaurant, artisans' village-cum-craft park, a shopping centre, a recreational centre with bowling alley, billiards room, cyber cafe and Cineplex as well as a craft bazar and food park like Delhi Haat.

Besides these six projects, the master plan also proposes world class educational centres for business management, information technology and hotel and travel management, promoting educational tourism.

In order to promote discovery and adventure tourism, the plan suggests cycling, skating, jogging, trekking, boating, fishing and even underwater sea exploration, scuba diving, snorkelling etc, exploiting irrigation reservoirs, rivers as well as Goa's famous hills like Vagheri, Chandranath, Siddhnath and Chorle.

Late evening recreation is also being focussed upon with light and sound shows at heritage places, cultural shows of Goan art and music, river cruise, evening city tours and even late night leisure walk at the riverfront of Mandovi in Panaji.

While hinting at more offshore casinos than the existing one, the plan also proposes to develop private entertainment parks like Essel World, nature parks, coastal pleasure trips, package tour at Grand Island, wood gardens and even aquarium and snake garden like in Mumbai and Chennai.

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