Panaji: Goa tourism department will begin the mechanised cleaning of various beaches on experimental basis from next week onward.

A high-level committee chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar here today approved the tender of Mumbai-based firm Ram Engineering for the task of mechanised cleaning of beaches in the state.

Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar told PTI, initially, few beaches would be taken up for cleaning, before extending it to all the shorelines.

He said that several NGOs had petitioned government that mechanised beach cleaning would damage the ecology on the beaches.

“We want to rule out the apprehensions raised by the NGOs.

We will go ahead with the contract, when they (NGOs) are satisfied,” Parulekar said.

In the meeting held at Porvorim near here, it was decided that different kind of machines would be tried, and the best one would be used for beach cleanliness purpose.

“The trials would be conducted at Baga and Calangute beaches. Couple of companies which will be displaying their various beach cleaning equipments but the final call on the equipments to be used, would be taken after a month,” Parulekar said.

In another decision, five hotels run by Goa tourism development corporation (GTDC) will be upgraded to five-star standard, he said.

“The need of hour is to upgrade our facilities. We have decided that Miramar, Mayem, Brittona and Colva residency would be upgraded into five star resorts,” the minister added.

The department has also planned an oceanarium project to developed alongside Miramar residency, near Panaji.

“This would be unique project, wherein the oceanarium would be located below the hotel,” he added.

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