Calangute MLA Michael Lobo wants the village panchayat along with the police to challan tourists who come with liquor bottles on the beach, as the government has failed to get an ordinance to stop drinking in public places. Lobo’s remark came in the wake of five tourists meeting watery grave at Calangute beach on Monday morning.
He said that tourists often venture into the sea in an inebriated state, adding, this can be stopped if drinking in the open is stopped by bringing in an ordinance.
This step, he said, will ensure that Goa’s image as safe tourist destination is not tarnished. He said that Goa has become a “free-for-all” tourist destination as such tourists seen with bottles on the beaches, at parking lots and on footpaths.
Speaking at a press conference in Calangute, he said that “we have been only debating in the Assembly for the last 5 years during budget sessions that drinking on the beaches, footpaths, parking lots and on roads should be stopped. We are only debating on bills that are not much of a concern. I had raised the issue of drinking in public places a number of times.”
He said the repeat of Calangute drowning deaths can happen at any other beach as the tourists are openly roaming with liquor bottles and to add to it, they break empty bottles anywhere creating a problem for everyone.
“Even at poorest tourist places internationally, one will not find open drinking menace which is happening in Goa; our government has failed on this front,” he said, adding, he will write to the chief minister to bring in an ordinance to stop drinking in public places.
He said if the government cannot control the nuisance then the village panchayat can take care of it. The panchayat can deploy its own security and challan the offenders as there is a provision in the Panchayati Raj Act, he stated.
Lobo said that the IRB police patrolling the beach belt does not have powers to challan the tourists drinking on the beach or walking with beer bottles on the road. “The low-budget tourists come and create nuisance here, but when they go to other places they follow all the rules,” he said. Lobo said that the police also need to buckle up. Calangute sarpanch Anthony Menezes said that a resolution will be taken by the panchayat to challan any tourist if found with liquor bottles on the road. “Calangute being a tourist destination, bar and restaurants are needed, but there needs to be some discipline,” he said.
Calangute PI Jivba Dalvi told this daily that 30 cases have been booked for drinking on the beach under Section 34. He said that apart from the police, the traffic police are also challaning motorists for drunk driving in Calangute.
Source:: The Navhind Times