25 Nov 2022  |   06:30am IST

Hawker menace continues to haunt Pernem beaches

Locals allege that from eatables, garments, antiques, services like massage and spa, tattoos, drugs and prostitution, everything is made available to unsuspecting tourists
Hawker menace continues to haunt Pernem beaches

Team Herald  

PERNEM: Hawker menace continues on the beaches in Pernem especially the Armabol beach. Locals for the past many years have been witnessing the growing number of hawkers on the Arambol beach, however, even after the issue was brought to the notice of the concerned authorities time and again, there has been no action against them. 

Locals said that the political representatives from the area are very well aware of the issue but even after witnessing the hawkers loitering on the beaches they have turned a blind eye towards it.

Hundreds of shops and restaurants located along the beaches which offer eatables, garments, antiques, services like massage and spa, tattoo and more but the hawkers directly operate on the beaches and sell the same products, service to tourists on the beach.  

These hawkers operate illegally right under the nose of the local panchayat and police without obtaining any permission from the local authorities.

It is also questionable whether the hawkers selling eatables and providing spa and massage services possess licence from concerned authorities including health and FDA.

Questions are also raised whether any government authority have data of these hawkers operating at the beach and their whereabouts.

Residents from these localities have raised this issue in the gram sabhas several time and have even passed resolutions to clear this menace by writing letters and complaining about it to concerned authorities and trying to get rid of this problem which has turned into a permanent business location for hawkers, however, the concern departments especially the Goa police have failed to act.

This particular section working alongside the beach target every tourist stepping on the sand further promoting their product such as embroidered clothes, eatables, fruits, artificial jewellery and force them to buy the same. 

There are few who operate business activities sometimes even by putting temporary stalls on the beach. Along with sale of items, they also offer body massage to the tourists illegally and each beach has almost 30 to 40 such hawkers operating openly at Arambol beach which includes male, female and sometimes even children.

According to the sources, there are police deployed at each beach to keep check on the hawkers however, when these hawkers see the police, they go away and return back when there are no police staff around and continue with their activities. 

Sources also informed that the female hawkers operating on the beaches not only sell the items but are also involved in prostitution. Some of them also sell cigarettes which contains narcotic substances.

“Tourism industry is one of the major part of economy of the state however instead of improvement of services at the beach, this industry is always taken for granted and department provides open market for non Goan communities to operate this industry,” a local visitor said.

"Goa being one of the tourist destinations on world maps, thousands of Indian as well as foreign tourists visits Goa every year with an expectation that they will get one of the best services. However, when they land themselves on these beaches, they are tortured and harassed by the hawkers by not letting them to enjoy the beach beauty peacefully. Also while we spend lakhs of rupees to get permission from every department to operates our business, these hawkers make money at Zero investment, local shack owner said.

“Several resolutions are passed in the gram sabha and even forwarded to the concern department including police but hardly any action is taken”, Ex Sarpanch of Arambol Panchayat D. Dsouza said.


Idhar Udhar