KR plan to get into tourism business will hit locals: Vijai

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KR plan to get into   tourism business will   hit locals: Vijai

Goa Forward Chief Vijai Sardesai making a point on the decision of Konkan Railway to venture into the tourism business of bike rentals and pod hotels.

Photo Credits: Santosh Mirajkar

MARGAO

Konkan Railway Corporation’s plans to venture into tourism business in Goa by setting up pod hotels and bike rentals has come under stiff opposition from Goa Forward Party.

In fact, GF President Vijai Sardesai has condemned the KR plan, saying the plan, if implemented, will spell doom for the local tourism stakeholders, including motorcycle pilots, besides hotels dotting the commercial capital.

Addressing the media, Sardesai directed his tirade at Congress-turned-BJP Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, demanding to know whether the MLA was aware of the Konkan railway plan to venture into bike rentals or whether the KR plan is part of the master plan the Margao MLA has been advocating for the commercial capital.

“The Konkan railway is primarily involved in the transportation of passengers and freight and to provide basic amenities for the passengers. Tourism business is the domain of the local people.  KR’s forays into car and bike rentals will adversely affect Madgavkars in particular and Goemkars in general. It is in the fitness of things, the Konkan railway scraps the proposal. Or, else the Goa Forward will mobilize the people to get the project scrapped”, Sardesai warned.

Saying Kamat takes pride in stating that the interests of traditional occupations need to be protected at all cost, Sardesai demanded to know whether the KR’s plan will not destroy the locals ekeing  out a living on the taxi and motorcycle business around the Margao railway station. 

“Kamat has come out with a master plan, which has envisaged massive development opposite the Margao railway station. Let the Margao MLA come out clear whether KR’s plan to venture into tourism business and pod hotels is part of the master plan”, he questioned.

He added: “Let us give a benefit of doubt to Kamat that he was not aware of the KR plan to go into car and bike rentals and set up Pod hotels. But, let him come out and support the people who will be destroyed by the KR plan and get the plan scrapped”.

Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s principle that the government has no business to be in business, Sardesai wondered how come the KR has thought of the idea of going into rental business when locals eke out a living on the business activity.

He also directed his ire at the Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte over KR’s plans to set up a lake view hotel at the Karmali railway station. “The Minister only knows to criticize his opponents for creating the north-south divide. Does the Tourism Minister have any idea that KR’s foray into tourism business will affect the Niz Goemkars engaged in small business activities such as rentals and hotels”, Sardesai wondered.

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