Govt's priority to develop infrastructure

| 16 March 1998 23:53 IST

Infrastructural development through private participation seems to be the prime agenda set by the Goa government to develop the socio-economic conditions of the tourist state here.

T R Satish Chandran, the newly appointed governor for Goa, lauded several infrastructural projects undertaken by the local Congress government, in his inaugural address delivered at the budget Assembly session, which began here today.

Paramount importance among all the sectors has been given to the power generation as well as its transmission and distribution, in order to encounter the acute power shortage the state is presently facing. the Reliance - Salgaoncar Pvt Ltd is already setting up a 48 MW mini power project.

While the government is also persuading the proposal to get a share of power from the Kaiga Atomic Power Station, which is being set up across its border in Karnataka, it has engaged the International Finance Corporation to advise on restructuring the entire power sector in the state.

Making best use of the internal waterways, the state government also plans to privatise three minor ports through private participation. The RITES is presently preparing a techno-economic feasibility study to make it a reality.

With Mandovi bridge collapsing within 15 years a decade ago and the Zuari bridge being closed for heavy vehicles, the government has now decided to build a four-lane parallel bridge on the Zuari river, with private participation. River Mandovi is already having two bridges on it.

Quality of construction seems to be pain in the neck of the authorities here, despite the tiny state having largest number of government employees and a wide-spread PWD department. The RITES has now undertaken systematic checks on quality of construction material throughout the state.

Mining, the backbone of Goan economy, has ruined the hinterland in last three decades, to overcome which the Tata Energy Research Institute has prepared a detailed study report on environmental impact. The authorities are compelled to act upon it, if it has to extend its tourism activity to the hinterland.

Another private agency is also preparing a comprehensive master plan for sustainable tourism development over the next 25 years. It would primarily identify new areas of tourism, impact of tourist traffic on the socio-economic and cultural aspects and its benefits.

Its three-decade old privatised system, the public transport, however has failed miserably. As a remedy, the same government has decided to nationalise three trunk routes, connecting major towns and cities of the state.

"The scheme would provide better passenger transport facilities, with the objective of providing an efficient and properly co-ordinated road transport service in the state", claims Chandran, the state governor, in his address.

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