South Goa watersports operators confronted the Tourism Deputy Director
and his team at Mobor beach on Thursday evening in the presence of
Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas. Watersports operators questioned the need to rope in Goa Electronics Limited (GEL) to manage watersports activities on the State's beaches and forced the tourism officials to remove its counter from the Mobor beach.
On Thursday evening, a high-voltage drama was witnessed at the beach
between traditional watersports operators and the Tourism department
The Tourism department Deputy Director P Teli tried to pacify the
angry operators accompanied by Benaulim MLA, who questioned the need
and the objectives of the tourism counter at the beach.
After an hour-long heated argument by the locals, the Tourism
officials had to remove their counter from the beach.
Later, when asked, P Teli informed that they had set up the counter as
per the instructions of the Director of Tourism to streamline and
bring accountability to the watersports activities at the beach.
Teli said, "I will write a report of this incident and submit it to
the Director of Tourism and the Minister for Tourism."
Meanwhile, Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas said that Goa government should
take local stakeholders into confidence before bringing anything to
the coastal villages.
He said the government has to first ensure it creates awareness and
educates people before implementing anything. Let the government
maintain status quo this season. Before the next season begins, the
government should take locals into confidence before implementing any
good ideas, Viegas added.
Dixon Vaz, Sarpanch of Cavelossim, said that traditional watersports
activities have been happening in Goa since many years. "Locals have
been conducting their businesses smoothly, but now the government is
trying to impose certain things which are not right," he said and
added, "We don't need a third party to manage this business, we can do
it on our own. In South Goa we are losing our business."