It is horrifying to note how comprehensively wrong tourism has gone in Goa. The beachfronts are blanketed with concrete monstrosities that scramble to compete with the cheapest destinations in the world. Far from preserving and marketing what is unique about Goa ... More than forty years ago, Correa called for a systematic regional plan to "preserve the remarkable decentralized multi-nodal pattern of Goa" that could avoid "hideous ribbon development". But that is exactly what came to overwhelm the coastline, and all the major roadways, now penetrating deep into the villages. Correa warned, "Density (that is the number of persons per acre) is a very important aspect to the appeal of Goa. Double or triple the density, and the ambiance will change irrevocably." But no one listened, so dream locales like Baga were forcibly transformed into slum-like warrens, and Dona Paula reels trampled by extraordinarily inappropriate high-rise complexes, like so many modern-day chawls.
Even after Charles Correa Foundation was established in Panaji's Fontainhas in 2011, specifically "to provide support... for the betterment of Goa's built and natural habitat", its most important recommendations have been repeatedly ignored by the state government, despite lavish lip service paid to the architect by the same authorities who sidelined his proposals. Correa was awarded Goa's highest honour—the Gomantak Vibhushan—in 2010, but spoiling the effect is consistently zero follow-up on the foundation's vital, potentially transformative suggestions. ... Correa himself lobbied state authorities unsuccessfully for several years to impose a "non-occupancy tax" on investment properties that could prevent "irreversible damage" as "second homes make real estate prices shoot up, taxing infrastructure and ruining the image of Goa".
At the foundation's memorial for its founder on July 3, many speakers eulogized the master architect, but the address of the vice-chancellor of Goa University was impressively different. Recalling how Correa expended considerable effort in his very last days to formulate a plan to reshape the institution to global standards, he ended with the sincere promise that implementation of this vision is "our responsibility". Satish Shetye's determination should be congratulated, and his efforts supported. If only others had listened so closely to Charles Correa, while he was still alive.