The Tourism Minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar, on Saturday, said that his department would take a strict action against the unruly tourists on the beaches in the state.
Azgaonkar also announced that the process of selecting a contractor for beach cleaning has been completed and added that the contractor would begin work in October.
Speaking to media persons after meeting with shack operators at his Margao residence, Azgaonkar said, “We have put in place strict laws against hawkers, and we will be holding a meeting with the police over this issue. At the same time, we want the Goans also to inform us about these hawkers. I will be strict this time. I don’t want our beaches to have beggars, hawkers, and people making nuisance by breaking bottles. We will impose a fine of Rs 2,000 on a individual and if a group is found to be involved in creating nuisance then the fine would be Rs 10,000.”
“The people found cooking their food on the roadside will also be fined Rs 10,000 and if they do not pay the fine, they will be jailed. For this to be implemented, we require all the Goans to be alert,” he said.
He also urge the shack owners to be alert and issue identification cards to their employees so as to enable the department to crack down on hawkers that tend to hide in the shacks.
Azgaonkar also asked for any information about the flow of drugs on the beach to be relayed to the police so as to stop the practice that is rampant on Goa’s beaches.
The process of beach cleaning will also be improved with the new tourism season, said the Minister.
“We have completed the process of selecting a contractor for beach cleaning, and they will begin the work in October. We will also be introducing an app wherein people can take a picture of garbage and send it and within two hours, the garbage will be cleared. If the garbage is not cleared, we will cancel the contract,” he said.
Shack owners meanwhile met the Minister at his residence thanking him for the cabinet approval of the shack policy that introduces reservation based on experience.
“This is probably the first time in history that the shack policy has been passed in the month of August. We have always been demanding reservation for those with many years of experience and we are grateful for introducing it now,” said All Goa Shack Owners Association president Cruz Cardozo.
There were also requests from the shack operators to reduce the registration fee of Rs 1 lakh ‘the amount being too much’ as they also asked for more beds and umbrellas to be allowed on the beach.
The Minister said he would be hold a meeting to see what could be done about the fee, but said that there would be no compromise on the number of beds and umbrellas, as the people visiting the beaches need space to walk.