Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Mr. Dilip Parulekar reviews Airport and Immigration issues

Panjim, April 27: Improving services for immigration and issue of Electronic Tourist Visas (ETVS) and expediting identification of land for  parking of taxis outside the airport are to be taken up on priority by multi agencies involved in ensuring smooth operations at the Goa International Airport, Dabolim.

A high level meeting chaired by Hon’ble Minister  for Tourism, Shri. Dilip Parulekar and  co-chaired by  Hon’ble MLA and Chairman of GTDC, Mr. Nilesh Cabral and  Hon’ble Minister for Power,  Mr.  Milind Naik took stock of various issues concerning  Goa airport  at Dabolim. In attendance  was the new  Airport Director, officials from  the Bureau of Immigration,  Traffic Police, Goa Police,  officials from  the  Department  of Tourism and  Goa Tourism Development  Corporation,  association of taxi operators attached  to Goa airport,  representatives of the Travel and  Tourism  Association of Goa and others.

The airport authorities and  bureau of immigration were impressed upon to  resolve  all issues ahead  of the forthcoming  tourism season starting from October 2016 so as to  avoid chaos and confusion at the airport and to prevent  any kind  of harassment  to  tourists arriving in Goa at the international airport.

During the meeting, the new  Airport Director  Mr. B C H Negi was appraised of  matters concerning  the ETV facility  and the need to expedite the process of issuing  the same to  tourists arriving  at Dabolim.   The airport director was impressed upon to increase the number of counters to meet the  rising increase in  tourist arrivals,  need to  increase manpower,  improve  the  designs  of the ETV issue counters,  add proper signages, in addition to other issues  concerning cleanliness,  hygiene,  trolley facilities etc.  The airport director  took note of  issues raised by the association of taxi operators at Dabolim airport and  the need to increase space for parking of taxis around  the  airport and  within the close  proximity of  the arrival terminal.

As far as parking,  a joint  inspection is to be carried out  between all the  concerned  departments to find suitable and alternate  parking  areas  for taxi operators. The inspection will also look into issues within the new airport terminal at Dabolim and find  solutions to  improve services and facilities therein.

The  airport director  was also urged to  permit the taxi association at Dabolim to  use the counter  facility at the airport after following  all procedures.

The  TTAG urged the airport director to take  action against   harassment  to tourists  by trolley pullers and  those  dirtying the  premises.

The traffic  police  and transport department were also urged to take action against  unauthorized parking of vehicles  outside the  airport and  against  so call taxi hijackers  who  it was alleged are creating  chaos and  disturbing the authorized  taxi association from  conducting smooth operations. Action is also proposed against  those taxi drivers not using uniforms.

The Bureau  of Immigration were urged to  improve  their services at the earliest as the forthcoming season  starting from October 2016 would  see  a huge rise in tourist arrivals for ETV  facility at Dabolim.

Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Mr. Dilip Parulekar  also  expressed willingness to  initiate dialogue with the Ministry for Home  Affairs  and  the Goa government  to  sort out  issues raised  at  the review  meeting.

Mr. Parulekar said, “I  will speak to the Union  Ministry  for Home  Affairs  on  need for improving immigration services at the Goa airport  and  iron out all  problems  irking the  smooth functioning  and issue of ETVs to  foreign tourists arriving at  Goa  airport.  Issues of upkeep and maintenance of the  airport  and parking issues  will also  need to be  resolved before  the  new tourism season begins.”

Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Nilesh Cabral  said, “There is need for taxi operators  at the  airport to  adopt modern  techniques  with regards to issue of tickets and  technology.” Mr. Cabral impressed on the association of taxi  operators  at Dabolim to  also gear up and  provide better services  for tourists  arriving  at the airport.

Mr. Cabral also   suggested training for   staff appointed  by the  Bureau of Immigration in soft skills  that will  help while interacting  with  tourists  at the ETV counters.

 

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