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Goa takes steps to check rise in drowning deaths

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Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar said in the Assembly on Thursday that it was of grave concern that 15 people had drowned in the State since May this year and the department had implemented steps to prevent such incidents.

The Minister tabled his written reply in the House in response to a question raised by BJP MLA Rajesh Petnekar. Mr. Azgaonkar said eight people died in Calangute, two each in Panaji, Colva and Anjuna, and one in Canacona. He said the government has assigned Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, with the task of lifeguarding and ensuring water safety services on 41 beaches and two inland water bodies, Dudhsagar waterfall and Mayem lake.

Mr. Azgaonkar said, “The contractor has deployed over 600 trained lifeguards and 111 personnel for night patrolling. The government has also created a tourist police unit headed by a Superintendent of Police (Tourist) to check illegal activities on beaches and to assist tourists in times of distress. The government has also authorised the Superintendent of Police (North) to ensure patrolling on motorcycles on beaches in North Goa.”

The department has posted 51 tourist wardens and three supervisors to prevent incidents of drowning, operation of vendors, and consumption of liquor on the beaches of North Goa and South Goa. Mr. Azgaonkar said that the recommendations of a panel, which was set up by the government to suggest safety and precautionary measures, were being examined for implementation.

Mr. Azgaonkar also criticised foreign tourists, much to the amusement of the members of the House. He said, “We do not want tourists who indulge in drugs and break bottles on the beach. They have to take care of our culture. If a Goan person drinks and walks along the street, he will not waver or fall in a gutter. He will walk quietly.” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had recently considered banning drinking of alcohol and littering in public places, including beaches. Mr. Ajgaonkar said the government wanted to deter errant tourists from visiting the State.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 10:56:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/goa-takes-steps-to-check-rise-in-drowning-deaths/article24524379.ece

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