Panaji: Apart from proposing a ban on swimming on Goa’s beaches after sunset, a high-level meeting of tourism industry stakeholders chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday directed the State police to crackdown on cooking in public places by tourist groups, including, on beaches.
Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar told presspersons after the meeting that this crackdown on cooking in public places was essential as “it was unhygienic and resulted in huge amount of garbage being strewn in public areas”. He said, “cooking in the open by groups of tourists is an eyesore. It creates disturbance and garbage which is left unattended. We have instructed police to crack down on groups of tourists who travel by buses, have cooking equipment and then cook their meals in the open.”
The meeting was attended by representatives from state government agencies including senior police officials and tourism and travel industry stakeholders.
A decision was also taken to undertake a drive to make tourists aware of the perils of swimming in the sea after sunset. The Minister said that the stakeholders also complained of bus loads of tourists who come down and cook in the open, as it did not bring any revenue to the state exchequer. On the contrary, it ruined the countryside and tourist places.
At the meeting Mr. Parrikar is understood to have reiterated the need to introduce a law to ban swimming after sunset. This follows recent deaths in Goa due to tourists venturing into the sea after sunset, sometimes in an inebriated condition.
“We will also hand out pamphlets at the border check-points, at hotels, restaurants and shacks, asking tourists not to swim after sunset,” the Minister said.
Only last week Mr. Parrikar had said that Goa as a reputed tourist destination was attracting over 6 million tourists, annually, including domestic and foreigners, and had expressed his resolve to attract more tourists by enhancing infrastructure and tourist safety.