Government backs golf course in tiny Tiracol

MAPUSA: Considering it as its corporate social responsibility, the New Delhi-based firm Leading Hotels Ltd who are planning to set up a golf course at Tiracol donated an ambulance to the residents of Tiracol in the presence of health minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

The state government has approved the proposal to set up a golf course at Tiracol village of Pernem taluka after the committee constituted under the chairmanship of the earlier tourism minister has accepted the offer of the New Delhi-based Leading Hotels Ltd, to set up a PGA-standard golf course with allied services.

Tiracol is a ward of Kerim village panchayat in Mandrem constituency, which consists of about 60-odd families. The only connectivity to Tiracol from the mainland is a ferry at Kerim.

Water, electricity and telephone services are obtained from Maharashtra.

The ambulance keys were handed over to the Tiracol residence welfare association president Caridade Dias by the health minister Parsekar.

Chief executive officer of the Leading Hotels Ltd Sandip Ganguly said that they will not destroy the natural beauty of the village but craft their project in the harmony with nature and in full respect to the environment and villagers. "The project of a setting up a golf course was selected because a golf course is the least intrusive sports development project, it is nondestructive and rather beautifies nature," Sandip Ganguly said.

Ganguly assured that Tiracol village will be a "model village" in the state and his firm is committed to assisting the government to develop physical infrastructure and getting electricity, and water connection to the village.

He said that his company is providing the state government with designs at its cost for the Tiracol bridge.

Health minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that the project will not be at the cost of the villagers but the company also intends to provide parallel benefits to the locals. "Company is moving ahead with the project as the previous government had given in-principle permissions to the project," Laxmikant Parsekar said.

A section of villagers under the banner of St Anthony Tenant Mundkar Association (SATMA) also gave a memorandum to the health minister that they don't want the golf course but they want to preserve their land for the future generations.

Parsekar said that some people misled the locals that Leading Hotels Ltd will destroy the village. "I'm aware of the differences. There should not be groupism in the village. Differences should not widen when any project is coming. It should be in the interest of the entire community," he said. [TOI]