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Parrikar urged to drop casinos, massage parlours from Goa tourism plan

In an open letter addressed to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, articulating its concerns over State’s tourism policy and practices, Centre for Responsible Tourism (CRT), a Church affiliated body on Tuesday urged the State government to drop casinos and massage parlours, golf courses from proposed tourism master-plan.

The letter predominantly pertains to the State government’s announcement recently about a tourism master-plan, which is being drafted by a consortium of consultants. The master-plan is supposed to chart out a 25-year vision and a tourism framework for Goa.

Fr. Maverick Fernandes of CRT, which works for responsible tourism, released a copy of the letter which pleaded with the government to make the process of forming the master-plan transparent to ensure tourism in Goa is inclusive.

The letter laments that casinos and massage parlous have brought a bad name to the State and implores the government not to desist from generating revenue from vices.

It attacked the government for endorsing proposals like golf courses saying, “Already, the government is busy facilitating the sale of precious lands with tantalizing landscape in Tiracol in north Goa to a Delhi party. This huge resort with a golf course will spell doom for the villagers who have been duped into selling their lands with improper documents. Attempts to obtain valid information to challenge the government’s intent are being stonewalled”.

Goa has nearly 20 casinos. Flesh-trade and human trafficking growing in the costal tourist State under the garb of massage parlours has given tough time to genuine massage parlours and spa outlets and law enforcement agencies alike.

A government committee is expected to monitor the output put forward by the consultants on a regular basis.

The CRT which spearheaded the cause of the locals in tourism benefits has inter alia stated that the State government's plan to use public-private-partnership is “elitist”. The letter apprehends “there will soon be the great sale of Goa and the highest bidder will take home the product. Goa will be reduced to a mere commodity and the government will become the auctioneer.”

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 12:38:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/parrikar-urged-to-drop-casinos-massage-parlours-from-goa-tourism-plan/article6287053.ece

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