Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte has said his Department lacks powers and is dependent on police for law enforcement on beaches and expressed the need for amendment of the Tourism Act.
Speaking in the Goa Assembly on Wednesday night (July 20), Mr. Khaunte said his Department was thinking of putting in place its own security force and proposed an integrated beach management policy which will include lifeguards, cleaning, safety, surveillance and illumination of the beaches.
He said broken glass pieces dumped on beaches in the State posed a danger to visitors. “My own Department staffers do not dare to walk barefoot on a beach. How do glass bottles go to the shoreline? There is no law enforcement,” he said.
The Tourism Department is currently dependent on the Police Department for the enforcement of law on the beach stretches, the Minister said.
“Today, we don't have powers. We are dependent on the police. Today, we need to legislate and come up with a new Act (Tourism and Trade Act),” the Minister said.
Mr. Khaunte said many illegal activities were happening in the Calangute beach belt up to Anjuna-Vagator in North Goa district.
“As a Minister, I am supposed to give directions to act against the illegalities, but there should be enforcement. That is why we are thinking of putting in place our own security force,” he said.
Mr. Khaunte said the State government is proposing an integrated beach management policy which will include lifeguards, cleaning, safety, surveillance and illumination of the beaches. "Everything will be part of one policy," said.
“The Tourism Department will also be revisiting the shack policy and water sports policy to address issues pertaining to beaches,” he added.