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Irresponsible low-budget tourists make Goa dirty

07 Aug 2017 06:36am IST

Report by
Abel Barretto

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07 Aug 2017 06:36am IST

Report by
Abel Barretto

Cook and eat on the roadside, mostly near a water source, where they discard all leftover and waste, thus polluting the environment with litter finding its way down-stream

canacona: With no facilities for the National Highways users, specially tourists from neighbouring states that stop by the wayside, several places along the highway  are literally becoming open dust-bins, with thrash strewn all over the place.

The highway, right from Polem to Margao passes through forest areas and is devoid of basic facilities like washrooms. And with private restaurant operators not allowing customers with food and eatables brought from outside, the low-budget tourists are left with no option but to cook and eat on the roadside, mostly near a water source, where they discard all leftover and waste, thus polluting the environment with litter finding its way down-stream. 

With the highway patrol turning a blind eye to this activity on several occasions, locals who step in to do moral policing are sometimes at the receiving end of the unruly tourists, who abuse them under the influence of cheap liquor.

Taking advantage of non-residential areas of Shelim, Partagal, Gulem, Karmalghat, Barcem, Padi, Goddeavoll, and Balli the interstate commuters, trucks and tourists who get cooking equipments along are seen squatting on the road side either eating pre-cooked food or cooking with the help of LPG cylinders, which they carry dangerously in their vehicles.

What’s more, they defecate in the open, mostly on the edge of water bodies lining the highways and locals, especially from Goddeavoll, who fetch water from a spring by the road side have to bear the stinking smell of human excreta.

And it does not end there, stretches of this road sides are also used by local miscreants to dispose different type of garbage like electronic and electric waste, fish sludge, carcass of dead animals, old clothes, shoes, foam, polystyrene, empty glass and pet bottles, electric defunct fixtures, broken sanitary ware, beer cans and concrete from RMC trucks. 

Environmentalists have been demanding strict action against this illegal way of disposing ones garbage at the road side which pollutes the environment and is an eyesore. Some have also suggested hefty fines if caught dumping waste, however with no effort by the PWD in erecting signage to discourage and educate the commuters from throwing their garbage on the road side, the problem persists and may become worse.

During morning hours the fish carrying small rickshaws with fish-sellers sitting at the rear are seen throwing fish to feed the crows and stray dogs everyday, possibly to improve and irritating two-wheelers and motorists alike.

Anil Bhagat who stays at Gulem adjacent to the national highway says its high time we, the citizens of this country act responsibly and do our bit to realise the dream of our prime minister to make the idea of Swatch Bharat a reality.

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