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Tourism dept seizes over 70 items in drives on S Goa beaches

NT NETWORK

Margao

Over 70 items including deck beds, umbrellas, tables and chairs were confiscated as part of the tourism department’s drive against illegalities on the South Goa beaches. Having received complaints of illegalities along the Palolem coast, the department recorded the most number of confiscated items from the coastal area.

Speaking to this daily, South Goa tourism assistant director Dhiraj Wagle said the department confiscated more items during the drives. “Last year, we had conducted a similar confiscation drive on two occasions; this time around we carried out three drives. We also covered the beach stretches of Bogmalo and Palolem from where we had received many complaints,” he said.

In all, during the drives conducted on Palolem, Bogmalo to Colva and Sernabatim beaches and Benaulim to Cavelossim and Mobor beach, a total of 39 deckbeds, 18 umbrellas, nine tables, seven chairs and one menu board were confiscated while six illegally operating ‘huts’ offering massage services were also stopped.

As per the tourism policy, shack operators are allowed to put up 20 deckbeds and 10 umbrellas and no tables or chairs are allowed on the beach. During the confiscation drives conducted first in January and twice in February, the department confiscated items that exceeded the limit prescribed to shacks and restaurants for placement of tables and chairs on the beaches.

Wagle said they also acted against illegal massage huts at Khandiwado in Cavelossim. “During the drive, we noticed six massage huts on the beach. Our team removed the cloth covering on the front side of the structures and in the process caught four masseurs red-handed. They were handed over to the Colva police. In the past, we had received complaints regarding the massage huts,” said Wagle.

The confiscated items will be given to the owners after receiving the fine amounts or else the items will be auctioned.

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