PANAJI: Focusing on the revival of tourism after the drop due to the Covid pandemic, the Goa government is trying to create a safe environment for tourists visiting the coastal state by eradicating the menace of touts and illegal activities taking place on the seashores. One of the measures announced by the government is that the Goa police will patrol the beaches in 'civilian clothes.
Recently the government launched a beach Vigil App to keep a watch on the activities there. Through this App the stakeholders and the public can report incidents which affect the tourism industry. Be it littering, drinking or cooking on the beach, hawkers, illegal structures, sound pollution, driving vehicles on the beach, touts engaged in various activities can be reported.
However, not relying only on technology, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has announced that from the next tourism season police will patrol the beach areas in civilian clothes for the safety of tourists. The government was forced to take these measures after constant complaints from the tourism stakeholders that touts and those involved in illegal activities harass the tourists.
"Both measures, the beach vigil App and deploying police in civilian clothes will help the tourism industry. Now we can directly click photos of any illegal activities and can post it on the App to seek action and the police in civilian clothes will help as the touts won't know whether the police are keeping an eye on them. Thus illegal activities will stop," Cruz Cardozo, President of the All Goa Shack Owners Welfare Association, said.
He said that earlier complaints lodged on the phone used to get leaked and those indulging in illegal activities would come to know about it. They would stop their activities for a while and then start again. "Now through this App we will have evidence of illegal activities," he said.
Reacting to the viral video of a pimp approaching customers, Sawant had said that prostitution should not be allowed in the state. "For that police are monitoring and proactive policing is taking place. During the next tourism season, police will keep an eye on such activities in civilian clothes," Sawant said.
According to Sawant the home department will address the challenge of the narcotics trade in the coastal areas. "Police are taking action against the narcotics trade. The crackdown on drugs is the biggest in my tenure. I need cooperation from the people to give safe beaches to the tourists and the people of Goa," he said.
Sawant has also announced that additional police forces will be provided along with establishing more police stations in the coastal areas. "To ensure that crimes do not take place in the tourism belt, we will establish additional police stations and even additional police force along with traffic police will be given to them," Sawant said.
Subsequent to the order from the Chief Minister to crackdown on illegal massage parlours in the state, the police swiftly took action against a few such parlours. The police have sealed one premise at Anjuna beach, where a massage parlour was operating without permission.
Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte has also vowed to give clean and safe beaches to tourists and the people of Goa with the aim to restore the past glory of the beaches with the active participation of all stakeholders. IANS
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