Villagers protest to save Kesarval spring from a hotel in Quellosim in Goa

Reported by

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 4, 2019

Location of Conflict

QuellosimMormugao taluka

South Goa

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In May 2018, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), a State Government undertaking, floated a tender to seek a private hospitality firm to build, finance and operate a "threestar or higher" hotel on publicprivate partnership model at Kesarval, a waterfall off the National Highway17 in South Goa. People who live close to the waterfall claim that the spring has medicinal properties. However, its flow has reduced in the past two decades due to illegal borewell drilling in a nearby industrial estate. In 2017, the Quellosim village panchayat resolved to rejuvenate the spring with the help of the tourism department. But the GTDC instead floated the tender to build a hotel. Villagers formed a network called Save Kesarval Spring Movement (SKSM) to oppose the hotel. They say that this would amount to handover of their community land to a private developer, and they might lose access to the spring. The villagers have also said that the effluents from the hotel could pollute the stream and the land area around it which includes their farms. The SKSM has held demonstrations, addressed press conferences and reached out to local legislators and the tourism department. In August, in response to a question raised in the state legislative assembly on the issue, tourism minister Manohar Azgaonkar argued that public would be given free access and no water would be used from the spring. He said that the project will help rejuvenate the spring. The final date of submission of tender bids is yet to be announced. SKSM has said it will continue the agitation until the tender is scrapped.

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Goa Tourism Development Corporation

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Documented By

Nihar Gokhale

Reviewed By

Nihar Gokhale

Updated By

Nihar Gokhale

Edited By

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch

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