Calangute MLA says a law has to be put in force to punish drinking in public
MAPUSA: Followed by the incident of 5 tourists drowning at Calangute beach on Monday early morning, the Dy Speaker and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo claimed that Goa will soon be called as unsafe tourist destination if no law is put in force.
Addressing media on Monday, Lobo said, “Goa is known as the safest tourist destination in the world, however, looking at the recent incidents like gang rape case in South Goa and the drowning of the five tourists in North beach, Goa will soon turn into an unsafe tourist destination. To keep the brand of safe tourist destination, the government, authorities and people need to work in hand in hand. However, it does not appear to be happening now in Goa”.
“Under the influence of alcohol, the tourists entered into the sea and drowned. There is need for an ordinance or bill to come into force that tourists creating nuisance, drinking in public places should be punished. For the last five years we have debating in the assembly but every time we have been assured with reply to budget speech that in next election, a bill will be passed. However, till today the bill is lying as it is and all other least important things are getting priority,” Lobo added.
According to outsiders, Goa is free for all but if we look at other poor countries in world, incidents like rapes, death don’t occur as they have their laws enforced by their municipalities. However, if the government is lagging behind to take action, let the Panchayat act as since it has the right to issue a challan to people drinking in open place, creating nuisance and throwing garbage under the Panchayat Raj Act, Lobo said further.
“To begin with, Calangute Panchayat will act as a performing body. It will issue a challan to the people found drinking in public places and creating nuisance. Also an application will be made to the DGP, Chief Minister requesting that police provide security while implementing the same,” he added.
IRB police are deployed at the beaches. However, they do not have any power to handle the tourists at the beach, the Calangute MLA said. “If nobody acts then deaths will continue and Goa will turn into an unsafe tourist destination in the world. Goa police need to tighten their laces since tourism is the only source of income after mining industry and if tourism is finished then people will have nothing to rely on. Till the bill or ordinance is passed, let the Panchayat take actions against this,” the Deputy Speaker added.
Meanwhile, Sarpanch Anthony Menezes of Calangute Village Panchayat said that from Monday onwards, the Panchayat will fine people found drinking in open places, creating nuisance and throwing garbage in the village jurisdiction. “Goa’s name is getting spoiled as outsiders are taking advantage of susegado Goenkars,” said Anthony.
The sarpanch further informed that a special squad of staff has been appointed to fine the tourists and to take necessary action with the help of Calangute police.