Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar in presence of Valpoi MLA, Mr Vishwajeet Rane and GTDC chairman, Mr Nilesh Cabral flag off white water river rafting at Ustem in Valpoi. (Abdulla Khan)
VALPOI: The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar has said that white water river rafting is a perfect means of promoting tourism in rural areas adding that the profits can go a long way in betterment of people especially the locals.
Speaking after the formal inauguration of white water river rafting project at a function at Ustem in Valpoi, Mr Parrikar said that the initiative of Goa Tourism Development Corporation will augment tourist flow into the state.
The Tourism Minister, Mr Dilip Parulekar, GTDC chairman, Mr Nilesh Cabral, Valpoi MLA, Mr Vishwajeet Rane, Chief Secretary, Mr Sanjay Srivastava, sarpanch of Nagargao village panchayat, Mr Ramesh Joshi, former deputy speaker, Mr Narahari Haldankar, BJP leader, Mr Satyavijay Naik and others were also present on the dais. Speaking further, Mr Parrikar urged locals to avail maximum benefits of the project and contribute in promoting eco tourism.
Calling the concept ‘Monsoon Tourism,’ the Tourism Minister, Mr Parulekar said that the project besides benefiting locals will also serve as a income source for tourism stakeholders during the monsoon season which is a lean period for tourism activities. Mr Parulekar also claimed that the new BJP government has initiated other steps to boost tourism.
The local MLA, Mr Vishwajeet Rane said that such adventure sport activities will attract high-class tourists to the state and generate funds for respective panchayats. He stressed on promoting the project on a larger scale. The GTDC chairman, Mr Nilesh Cabral, in his welcome note, spoke on the concept of the project and highlighted on future plans of GTDC.
Later, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, Mr Vishwajeet Rane and Mr Cabral along with other dignitaries visited the white water river rafting site and flagged off the first formal rafting.
The white water rafting which will continue till mid October is being conducted by Southern River Adventure Sports Pvt Ltd. This adventure sport is expected to attract more tourists who can now experience different degrees of rough water on a raft on Mhadei River. After Goa Forest Development Corporation tested its safety and feasibility aspects, white water rafting was finally opened for tourists and adventure enthusiasts.
Sources informed that the rafting will start at Ustem village near Valpoi and end at Sonal village after a 10 km ride that will be covered in approximately 90 minutes. Bookings can be done only through GTDC, either directly at one of its residencies or its offices or online.
Around 20 people can be accommodated on a raft at a time. Five rafts are available. At the moment, two trips per day are planned - first at 11 a.m and the second at 2 p.m. Adventure sport enthusiasts will be provided with rafts, pedals, rafting equipment like jackets. Trained guides will also accompany them.