Don’t Kill The Goose That Lays Golden Egg
JOAO BARROS-PEREIRA, CANSAULIM
THE government wants policemen on motorcycles to patrol the beaches to ensure safety to visitors and local residents. Is this a knee-jerk reaction to the gangrape of a woman at Betalbatim beach, which triggered public outcry and shamed Goa in the country and world over? The icing on the cake is the consideration shown to the turtle nesting sites at Galgibaga and sand-dune vegetation which cannot be disturbed. Hence there would be no bike patrolling there. But what about the shoreline from Velsao to Majorda? The particular stretch of the shoreline does not have any electricity supply, and visitors and locals are vulnerable to harm if they happen to visit these beaches at night. Does the government indicate that tourists and people of South Goa district should not visit the beaches at night, even on a full-moon night? Some mindless politicians, who are claiming how wonderful everything is, no doubt have buried their heads deep in the sand and are in need of urgent medical help. The motorcycles on the beaches will create nuisance. They will destroy the beaches further and imprint tyre marks again and again. Do we want to make our beaches famous for tyre marks? The tourists relaxing on reclining beach chairs will not smile benignly on this idea of having policemen whizzing in front of them. And what about the people visiting the shacks? Why not install CCTV cameras everywhere on the beaches to complete the mood? There are tourists who drink on the beaches and wander into the sea, and sometimes they drown. How are we going to solve the drowning of drunk tourists at beaches, where the shacks serve alcohol? Goa’s brand of tourism cannot flourish unless there is serenity, conducive atmosphere for relaxation and respect for the privacy of tourists. Goa is famous for this particular brand of tourism. Are we going to replace it with overt policing which will drive away up-market tourists and bring in stingy visitors whose budget is for an omelet with gravy? The government has to find ways to provide security to the people on the beaches without destroying the beach economy and culture, and stop invading the privacy and peace of mind of the tourists who come to Goa for a pleasant holiday.