RAJAN PARRIKAR | The situation in Goa is so dismal across the board and our bar set so low that we must find occasion to rejoice in the smallest of advances.
This morning we got to the village of Surla in Sattari at the lookout point for the waterfall — “Ladkyacho Vozar” see: http://blog.parrikar.com/2013/09/03/surla-waterfall/ — at 6:45 am after crossing Chorla Ghat (had to start out from Panjim before 5 am).
The quality of road is much improved and I was surprised at the absence of mounds of garbage along the mountain route (a sight common in 2013 when I was up there 4/5 times). The lookout point had some litter but nothing like the strewn filth I had seen 3 years ago.
Soon enough, a fellow arrived and introduced himself as the caretaker (name: Gopal Gauns) appointed by the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary. He said that enforcement along the highway and at the vista point has been stepped up and that he is charged with the upkeep of the lookout area. And sure enough he set about doing his job – at 7 in the morning! There were also garbage bins in the area. He said that folks from Belgaum repeatedly foul the place and that there have been tense encounters with the villagers.
For this to work in the long term, both enforcement and responsible public behaviour have to go hand in hand. For now, it is a good start.
Read about Surla waterfalls and see the video posted on my blog