Tourists visiting the famed Pomburpa Spring have been forced to carry spring water to toilets in the complex.
This is because the Public Works Department has disconnected water supply to the Sulabh Souchalaya nearly five years ago, simply because the Tourism Department is yet to clear a pending water bill of Rs 15,172.
The Tourism Department may be spending crores of rupees every year to develop infrastructure in order to attract tourists, but it has ignored a Rs 15,172 water bill which has led to the disruption of a basic facility at the spring for four years.
“Water connection to the Sulabh Souchalaya was issued in the name of the Tourism Department. But since the department did not settle the water bill of Rs 15,172 despite repeated reminders, the PWD was forced to disconnect water supply to the Souchalaya on June 28, 2008,” a PWD source told Herald.
Incidentally, the beautification of the Pomburpa Spring was carried out by the Tourism Department in 2010. During the inaugural function, then Tourism Minister Mickky Pacheco had stated that his department had spent around Rs 1 crore to beautify the spring and that Rs 5 lakhs had been reserved for the maintenance of the spring.
“Despite this, the Tourism Department did not bother paying the pending bill of a meagre Rs 15,172,” the PWD source said.
Incidentally, many tourists are unaware that the toilets do not have water supply and are caught unawares, when they need to answer nature’s call.
“It is disgusting that the Tourism Department cannot ensure water supply to a basic facility like a toilet at a prominent tourist spot,” remarked a tourist at the spring.
When informed that water supply had been cut as the Tourism Department had failed to pay the water bill, the tourist replied: “On the one hand, the Tourism Department cannot ensure water supply to the toilet and on the other hand, abundant spring water is available barely metres away from the toilet. What stops the Tourism Department from installing a large water tank to store the spring water and supply this to the toilet?”
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) when contacted, expressed ignorance over this issue.
General Manager Sanjay Chodnekar said, “The toilet near the Pomburpa Spring is exclusively for tourists and so far, no tourist has brought any issue of water shortage to our notice”.
“We are also not aware that water is being taken directly from the spring by those using the toilet,” he said.
The GTDC general manager says the corporation has a line drawn from the lower end of the spring to the toilet, which is drawn in the event of any breakdown in the main supply line of the PWD. [H]