SHASHANK MAHATME, PANAJI
The government of Goa must be given due credit for the new laws legislated to regulate the behaviour of tourists visiting our small state. However, as a tourist destination, Goa has sadly been promoted over the years as a state for merrymaking and enjoyment, an image that would take doubly longer than making, to undo. Indian citizenry at large connect such a picture with ease of availability of cheap liquor, women and music. Now with the new set of laws it is mandatory to ensure that the implications of improper behaviour are made clear to all visiting Goa at the very time they set foot on our land, in case we wish to seriously see a change in their behaviour, while in Goa. Else, it will be another opportunity for some crooked enforcement officers to ensure their pockets are further well lined, while the cause for which these laws are enacted would be defeated. It must be made mandatory for all tourists to know at the outset what the permissible ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ are, in Goa. For the purpose, the government must enumerate all points which ideally should be: 1. Put up proper billboards at every entry point into Goa (road network, railway stations, airport, ports etc) as also at strategic locations of touristic importance. 2. Print en-mass as standardised handouts (pamphlets) to be handed over by the RTO at every entry point to every bus, car, truck etc. (Once the above is done, a small sticker stating something like “Yes, I’ve been educated” to be stuck on every vehicle entering the borders, which will commit the tourists that they have been informed of the Do’s & Dont’s and thereafter if they willfully violate the law, they would invite penal action. These stickers could be peeled off once the vehicles leave Goa). 3. Every hotel/ lodging/ boarding/ place of tourist interest must put up proper legible tent cards in prominent places including, rooms in order to facilitate tourists who anyways wish to cook (which includes truck drivers etc who often are seen stopping by the roadside and cooking their food). The government could identify suitable locations where such facilities including parking and toilets are also provided.