Besides, proposing a ban on swimming on Goa’s beaches after sunset, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has asked police in the state to crack a whip on those who cook in public places. Busloads of tourists come and set up their stoves and cook all in the name of picnicking. It does not bring any revenue to the state exchequer, but, on the contrary, it ruins the countryside and tourist spots.
Also, the need to introduce a law banning swimming post sunset was quite a needed step, following the recent deaths in the state as tourists venture into the sea in the dark, sometimes in an intoxicated state. These decisions are taken to protect tourism in the state which has been witnessing a lesser number of European tourists, though domestic tourist figures surge.
Here’s what the people around the state say
Many rules have been passed but have not been implemented properly. As far as littering along the beachside is concerned there has been a ban on this too. But proper implementation of the rules due to reasons such as inadequate manpower or resources has made the introduction of new laws a problem. Instead of new rules, the already existing rules must be enforced properly. Each and every individual has a crucial role to play and one should restrain from littering and discourage others from doing so. One needs to feel a sense of belonging to the beach and keep it clean. All said and done, the proposed ban on swimming in beaches after 7 p.m. is a good step taken by the government. Domestic as well as international tourists who live in several remote areas of the world do not know the situation of Goan beaches. Drinking and swimming is common among tourists along the coastline and it can lead to fatal consequences if one ventures into the sea in the dark. However, the ban is not relevant when it comes to locals who are aware of sea tides and refrain from drinking and swimming. Hence the government should give some relaxation in such cases.”
Fr Bolmax Pereira,
Parish Priest, Nerul
The Chief Minister of Goa should first speak about the sinking casino on Miramar beach. People of Goa are wise enough to not damage their beaches to such an extent, like that of the erosion that has happened due to the offshore casino vessel. Please do not have a moral high ground on something that you are responsible for. Cooking on beaches would not damage the beaches; it would at the most make the beach dirty, which can be cleaned. Erosion cannot be fixed. Even a common man knows this is not a natural disaster. It is a decision of the political climate change that has happened in Goa. I welcome the decision of not permitting swimming in the sea after 7 p.m. as it would save a lot of lives and situations that risk lives.”
Swimming after dark is actually dangerous and cooking on beaches does cause littering. The beaches in Goa are becoming excessively dirty. But a ban is not always the answer to everything. There should be more dustbins on beaches and a heavy fine on littering. Littering is what should be strictly banned. When it comes to swimming, again, instead of banning it at late hours, the security and restrictions should be increased.
Prerna Dave, student, BITS Pilani
I think our government is slowly moving to dictatorship and snatching away our freedom and our rights. This proposed law means we cannot enjoy any bonfires or BBQ parties, etc. Why can’t he just place bins at the beaches instead? And there shouldn’t be a ban on sea swimming after sunset but people should have the freedom to swim at their own risk. The government should focus on more important issues such as infrastructure, education, etc, rather than on petty curfews for the general public. I am seriously afraid for the future of generations to come. I can’t see our Government moving forward with such laws.
Zubin da Cruz, musician, Loutolim
Look at lives claimed at sea triggering concerns of tourists’ safety at the beach. The government’s plan of a law banning swimming in the sea post sunset and after consumption of alcohol is the right step taken. In the night you cannot identify the tides due to which many people end up losing their life. We must respect nature, be accountable for a clean environment and take responsibility of fragile zones. Broken bottles, discarded plastic cutlery, plates or other thrash is unacceptable. We as citizens must also show responsibility for our own actions and not fool around with elements beyond our control.”
Ethel Da Costa, communication specialist, Panaji
I think there should be a law to ban swimming during the high tide or when the sea is rough. Also, drinking alcohol and venturing into the sea should be stopped. This is the right law and will save lives of many. But at the same time I feel it is the responsibility of people to have some civic sense. When we go abroad we follow all their rules and regulations. Why can’t we do the same in our own state? Goa is a beautiful place and we should work towards preserving and conserving its beauty. Many times we see that people litter the beaches with food wrappers, bottles and plastic, which not only makes the place dirty but is also harmful for the environment.”
Agnes Pinto, student, St Xavier’s College, Mapusa
With the concerns over the safety of tourists at the beach, the government has rightly planned on enacting a law banning swimming at the sea post sunset; which is quite justified. In the night you cannot identify the situation of the sea and due to which many people end up losing their life. Today, people have become careless and this step will be very helpful in terms of safety. But, I think banning is not the only option; the government should start issuing fines. The filth on beaches has resulted in many famous beaches being polluted beyond recognition.”
It is a good move by our Chief Minister in one way to keep our beaches clean and secondly, we won’t have anyone losing their lives at sea. This is something I would support him for.
IT recruiter US/Canada
I think it is a very good and necessary idea. Boundaries have to be set despite the inconvenience that it might cause. The importance of prevention of the civic and environmental repercussions of those acts far outweighs the discomfort the tourists will undergo or the ‘loss of business’ the tour operators will face.
Mitalee Bhattacharya, professional, Caranzalem
(Compiled by Ramandeep Kaur, Sheras Fernandes and Venita Gomes)