Panaji, March 6 (IANS) Union Minister for Tourism Kumari Selja Saturday ticked off Goa Tourism Minister Mickky Pacheco for not having a solid waste management (SWM) system in place to handle the garbage problem in the state.
While delivering her inaugural speech at the regional conference of tourism ministers of western states and union territories in Goa Saturday Selja took a few moments off her speech to ask Pacheco, who was seated beside her, to pull up his socks and get the SWM problem sorted out at the earliest.
‘The more tourists you get the more garbage they are going to generate… Plastic and polythene lying strewn around are choking our environment. Are you going to make sure a mechanism (solid waste management) is in place? I hope you will,’ the minister told Pacheco, before continuing with her speech.
Pacheco appeared distinctly flustered and at a loss for words when Selja directed her questions at him.
‘I am constrained to observe that the state of Goa also does not have a solid waste management and sewerage treatment plant,’ Selja said.
Describing the issue of solid waste management as a major challenge faced in tourism destination development, Selja said that the SWM would be an essential component when it came to project approvals from the union tourism ministry by state governments.
‘The development of a destination should not end just with the handing over of completed projects. Mechanisms should be in place to foster sustainable and environment-friendly growth,’ she said, adding that SWM was a desirable feature for ensuring the success of tourism in the country.
Goa attracts 2.4 million tourists annually, 4.5 lakh of which are foreigners.