Goa’s tourism will face brunt if illegal activities, touts continue on beaches: Minister

Panaji, Oct 23 (IANS): Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte on Monday advocated the need to eradicate illegal activities, along with movements of touts, to save the tourism areas from facing brunt this season.

“I have been very vocal against illegal touts. Police have to do their job rightly. Only then these things will be reduced. Otherwise tourism will face a brunt this season also, because of illegal touts and other illegal activities,” Khaunte told reporters here.

During last tourism season, Khaunte had directed the officials to take action against the touts to give a safe environment to tourists visiting the state, and later action against touts was taken.

“Illegal activities spoil Goa’s name. Be it dance bars, prostitution, drugs or other things, these things should be cleansed along with touts. Last year we had taken action against touts,” he said.

Khaunte said that his department has requested to increase police force in beach areas so they can act and ensure that illegal touts menace is cleared.

“Goa is getting a bad name because of these illegalities. It should be stopped,” he said.

Meanwhile, Calangute BJP MLA, Michael Lobo has said that stringent law should be there against the touts. “They should be fined and it should be more than Rs 10,000. Then only it can be stopped,” he said.

He also said that action should be taken against dance bars. “Dance bars should not be given an opportunity to flourish. Action should be taken against them. Local Panchayats have already started action,” he said.

During the Monsoon assembly session, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had clarified that ‘No permission’ has been given by the Government for dance bars.

Sawant had said that “no dance bars are operating in the guise of restaurants in Calangute area,”

However, according to Lobo, someone has not provided correct information to the Chief Minister about dance bars.

Last year in December, Michael Lobo hadmet Director General of Police (DGP), Jaspal Singh and sought action against reported illegal dance bars operating in his constituency Calangute, and touts who cheat tourists.

Later in January, around 500 locals from the coastal belt of Calangute and Baga in North Goa rallied protesting against the ‘Dance Bars’ culture, drugs and prostitution in the locality and demanded action against them.


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