Goa is definitely more than just its beaches, but the fact that these are breathtakingly beautiful will always stand firm. Over time, human interference has proven to be destructive to nature and the illegalities taking place on the beaches of Goa stand as a perfect example.
There is, however, always room to do better and be better. On National Tourism Day, January 25, 2024, the Department of Tourism launched a ‘Beach Vigil App’ in the hope of transforming the beaches of Goa for the better.
The Beach Vigil app, launched in the presence of Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte, Tourism Director Suneel Anchipaka and CEO & ED Goa Electronics Revati Kumar, incorporates technology for swifter results.
The app is now open to the public and is easily accessible to be downloaded via the Google Play Store. On a trial basis, around 1300 downloads have taken place after which 1240 violations were reported out of which 1091 have been resolved.
"So far, the app was available for departments among various stakeholders, this is the first time we are opening it to the general public,” Anchipaka said, before proceeding to explain how the app will function using a power-point presentation. This was followed by an interactive session with the Tourism Minister.
“The app is only for activities happening on the beaches. In the past, there were four stakeholders, namely, the Department of Tourism, beach cleaning agencies, Goa Police and Drishti lifeguarding agency. Today, the public is also being integrated as the fifth stakeholder,” Khaunte said, urging the people to be the eyes and ears in the places that the government cannot reach.
The use of the app is simple, upon sighting any illegalities taking place on the beach, one must click a photograph and upload it on the app. The complaint will then be taken up and tackled by the respective agency that will be held responsible thereafter.
The list of violations that can be reported on the app include, garbage on the beach, hawkers selling items on the beach, events without permission on the beach, touts on the beach, cooking on the beach and others.
“The government has been working in a very transparent manner as far as the beach activities are concerned,” Khaute said.
He also hoped that people will make use of the helpline number ‘1364’ through which they can address their issues and also find out about the services available under the Tourism Department.